DES MOINES — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says she favors development of pipelines that could make the ethanol industry carbon neutral, but Haley says landowners who don’t want the pipelines on their property should not be forced to sign easements.
“I don’t want us to just be energy independent. I want us to be energy dominant and I think we do that by having an all-of-the-above energy approach, but we have to always be respectful of the rights and freedoms of hardworking Americans,” Haley said during an interview with Radio Iowa, “and so I’m not a supporter of eminent domain.”
Pipeline backers say ethanol sales will expand if the fuel is carbon neutral and that will benefit corn farmers. Haley said ethanol production can and should be part of a strategy to ensure the U.S. never has to buy oil from places like Iran or Venezuela.
“It’s not that we don’t want these pipelines. I think there’s good that can be done with that and it’s actually good for not only energy, but it’s good for the environment,” Haley said. “We just want to be sure that we’re very conscious of the eminent domain part, to make sure that no one is taking advantage of that.”
Later today, Haley will be visiting a farm near Grand Mound in Clinton County. Clinton is one of the five Iowa counties where the proposed Wolf Carbon Solutions pipeline would run through. Unlike two other pipeline developers, the company is not seeking eminent domain authority from Iowa regulators and has indicated it will acquire property along its route voluntarily.
Haley, who spoke with Radio Iowa by phone to preview her Iowa trip, served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for two years. She has called China the most disciplined enemy of the U-S and she says Chinese ownership of the world’s largest pork producer is a big concern. A Chinese tycoon bought Smithfield Foods a decade ago and 80% of the U.S. farmland now under Chinese ownership was part of that deal.
“Food security is national security,” Haley said. “We need to remember China is now stealing our seeds, our technology. They are dependent on us for food. We want to keep it that way.”
China increasingly depends on imported food and purchased a record $41 billion worth of U.S. food and agricultural products in 2022.
Haley, who is 51 years old, served as governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017. She entered the presidential race in mid-February and has argued the GOP should choose a presidential nominee who’s from a new generation. “We’ve got to leave the negativity and the baggage of the past and we’ve got to start focusing on new solutions,” Haley said near the end of her conversation with Radio Iowa. “We can’t keep going with the same generation thinking they know better than everybody else.”
AUDIO of Nikki Haley’s September, 2023 interview with Radio Iowa, runs 10 min.
On Saturday, Haley is among nine GOP presidential candidates who’ll be speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser in Des Moines.