Iowa RFA Sounds Alarm on New CO2 Pipeline Legislation

Cindy Zimmerman

New legislation was introduced in the Iowa House this week to limit eminent domain for CO2 pipelines could impact the future of ethanol production in the state, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw says the legislation would create a “de facto ban” on new projects that allow Iowa ethanol producers to install carbon capture technology. “The difference between the rhetoric and reality on this bill is truly staggering,” said Shaw. “We hear about property rights, but this bill wouldn’t impact the next Dakota Access oil pipeline or Rock Island Clean Line Transmission project. We hear about safety, but this bill doesn’t apply to pipelines that carry explosive or flammable liquids while CO2 is neither. Instead, this bill singles out for destruction the single most important technology we have to keep liquid fuels like ethanol competitive with electric vehicles in the rapidly growing low carbon transportation markets. It is no surprise that anti-agriculture groups like the Sierra Club support preventing carbon capture and sequestration from going forward.”

“The bill is a veritable cornucopia of unreasonable regulations narrowly targeted at CCS technology,” continued Shaw. “For example, section three of the bill would allow just two people to effectively veto an interstate CCS project even if that project had 100 percent voluntary easements. It would only take two county supervisors to enact an ordinance, like a setback requirement that is physically impossible to meet, and then the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) would be prevented from issuing a final permit.”

IRFA does not object to the provisions in the bill that clarify and expand landowner rights that apply to all projects that come before the IUB.

“IRFA continues to urge all Iowans to unite to find a fair and equitable path forward for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects – fair and equitable to landowners, CCS projects and communities,” stated Shaw. “Further, any changes to the IUB permitting process should apply to all applicants, not just CO2 pipelines.”

Carbon, carbon capture, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA