Critics rally before IUB’s Summit pipeline hearing

FORT DODGE — The Iowa Utilities Board has begun its hearing on the Summit Carbon Solutions application to construct, operate and maintain a liquid carbon pipeline through Iowa.

Critics of the project held a rally in Fort Dodge just before the hearing started at 10 a.m.. The proposed pipeline goes through Tim Baughman’s property in Crawford County. “This decision will set precedent so we, the people need to speak out now,” Baughman said.

According to Baughman, people who own 900 parcels of land along the Iowa route have not signed contracts granting Summit access to their land. The company is asking regulators to grant it eminent domain authority to force unwilling property owners to sign easements.

“Despite Summit’s immense pressure and bullying and we stand here today united to show that together we can and must stop the Summit pipeline,” Baughman said, then he led the crowd in a chant: “No eminent domain for private gain.”

Steve Kenkel, chairman of the Shelby County Supervisors, said the people testifying are seeking respect for their land and their livelihoods. “Your dignity should never be compromised or disrespected for selfish gain, greed or politics,” Kenkel said, to cheers.

Summit has planned a 2000 mile pipeline through five states, to ship liquid carbon from ethanol plants to underground storage in North Dakota. The company’s says the project will provide a financial boost to the ethanol and agricultural sectors.

The hearing on Summit’s permit application is likely to last several weeks.