CLEAR LAKE — All of north-central Iowa’s House members this week voted to approve a bill requiring at least 90% of the miles along proposed carbon pipeline routes be voluntarily secured before the government’s eminent domain authority could be used to seize the rest of the land. That bill now heads over to the Senate, where a bill there that would have set some new regulations for the pipelines died in a subcommittee last month.
During House debate on the bill, Mason City Democrat Sharon Steckman said that at the legislative forums she’s held throughout the session in Mason City, both Democrats and Republicans have shown up, expressing that they don’t want the pipelines to be constructed. “The chair of the Cerro Gordo County Republican Party came to all of them, and my former opponent, and many like-minded folks, and my usual attendees. I would have a room full of maybe 80-90 people. The one thing every person in that room agreed upon was not wanting the pipeline. They were all opposed to the pipeline.”
Steckman was among those who voted for the measure who lamented that it did not go far enough in protecting landowners who do not want the pipelines on their property. “I was listening to my constituents and that’s why I’m voting yes on this bill. This bill is not perfect, and I repeat, not perfect. I seriously wish the majority party would have consulted us before they brought forth this bill, but they didn’t. In my honest opinion, it is, as I said, not perfect, however, it is here before us because of my constituents, and because of the other Iowans who spoke out.”
The topic of carbon pipeline routes did not come up this morning during a legislative forum attended by Senator Waylon Brown and Representative Jane Bloomingdale at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake sponsored by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, which irked some pipeline protesters and forced organizers to stop the forum early.
That’s the voice of Mark Dodd, the Chamber’s vice-chair of legislative affairs. You can hear more comments regarding other topics in front of the legislature talked about at today’s forum by utilizing the audio player below as well as on next Wednesday’s edition of the “Ask the Mayor” program on AM-1300 KGLO.