CO2 Pipelines: Trampling on Property Rights & Local Control

Farmers across the Midwest are having their property rights threatened by big CO2 pipeline companies. Here we look at ways people can fight back. …
New American Staff

Warning: Local elected officials and landowners, your ability to protect the public and preserve private-property rights is under siege! If you choose to sit tight, watch from afar, and hope someone else will fight carbon-capture pipelines, you may wake up one day and find that the tools officials presently have in their toolbox to protect county home rule and enact local zoning ordinances will be things of the past. For ordinary landowners, the freedoms and rights you take for granted will also be in jeopardy.

I know because I’ve been fighting this battle for nearly two years. I have been surprised and disappointed that so many county supervisors throw up their hands and say, “There’s not much we can do. This is a federal pipeline; it’s just going to happen.” But county supervisors are empowered to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and property of the county and its residents, and to preserve and improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, comfort, and conveniences of its residents. They just need to try!

The general public and local landowners often wrongly believe that county supervisors can prevent carbon-capture corporations from being granted eminent domain over the land of others. However, in Iowa, counties have no authority to grant or deny eminent domain for CO2 and other hazardous pipelines. That authority rests solely with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). Iowa law instead empowers supervisors with the local tools of county home rule and zoning power to protect their citizens. High-pressure, hazardous CO2 pipelines and sequestration projects are lining up around our nation to trample on our constitutionally protected property rights and the local tools we have long used to protect them. Greed and a sense of entitlement by wealthy and politically influential investors seeking to capitalize on billions in federal tax credits are causing a stampede of CO2 pipelines racing toward the finish line in the Midwest.

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