Landowners in Iowa protest new Bakken oil pipeline
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Landowners along the proposed path of a crude oil pipeline through Iowa made clear their displeasure for the project Wednesday at the state Capitol. The landowners said they do not believe state government should be able to cl...
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Landowners along the proposed path of a crude oil pipeline through Iowa made clear their displeasure for the project Wednesday at the state Capitol.
The landowners said they do not believe state government should be able to claim land for the project, which is the $3.8 billion, 1,134-mile brainchild of a Texas-based energy company.
The pipeline would transport crude oil through Iowa - from its northwest corner to its southeast corner - from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to Illinois. The pipeline would span 343 miles and 18 counties in Iowa.
Dakota Access is seeking permission from the three-member Iowa Utilities Board to proceed with the project. The board has not yet set a date for a hearing on the pipeline.
“I have researched as much as I could, and I have found very little evidence of good for Iowa, only evidence of good for the oil industry and the oil pipeline company,” said Kathy Holdefer, whose farmland in Jasper County is along the proposed pipeline’s path.
Pipeline opponents want state lawmakers to support legislation that would make it more difficult for private companies to develop projects such as the pipeline. Specifically, it would require companies to get voluntary permission from three-fourths of landowners along a project’s route.
The proposed legislation did not advance past the first stage of the lawmaking process this year.
State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, the bill’s chief advocate and a member of the Iowa House, said he hopes senators show their support for the bill.
“I’ve sensed that there is growing interest from numerous senators, so I am hopeful they will have a full floor vote, which will then spur a House vote,” Kaufmann said.
Those who oppose the pipeline project say they do not believe the state’s eminent domain law should be used for a private, out-of-state business. Some express concerns about potential spills and adverse environmental effects.
“We all know this pipeline is all risk, no reward for Iowa,” said Nathan Malachowski, with Iowans Citizens for Community Improvement.