Monday, February 7, 2022

U.S. Midwest Pipeline Projects Spark Eminent Domain Battles

A flurry of proposed Carbon Pipelines, in the U.S. Midwest, has triggered a Battle over whether Companies behind the Projects, should be allowed to Seize Land from unwilling Property Owners, to secure a Route.

Hundreds of Iowa Landowners, more than a Dozen State Counties, and a Handful of Lawmakers, are seeking to Limit the use of the Eminent Domain Law by the Projects, arguing Property Rights and other Concerns, Outweigh the Potential Benefits of the Pipelines to Local Industry and the Climate, according to a Reuters Analysis of Regulatory Documents and Interviews with People involved.

The Issue has come to the forefront, as the Companies behind the Projects seek to Negotiate Voluntary Easements with Landowners that would give them the Legal right to Dig, Install, and Maintain the Lines, which would Transport Carbon Captured at Biofuel Processing Plants for Injection Underground.

If the Landowners refuse Easements, the Companies would need to turn to Eminent Domain to gain Access to the Land.

Iowa would get the bulk of Pipeline miles, more than 1,600 miles, or 48%, of Summit and Navigator’s Pipelines.

The State’s Utility Regulator, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), will ultimately decide whether to Permit the Projects and grant them the right to use Eminent Domain.

Eminent Domain has Not yet been applied to Carbon Pipelines, which are primarily Regulated and sited by States, rather than the Federal Government, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), and few of which have been Constructed to date.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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