DeSantis comments on carbon pipeline projects

GARNER — Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis says negotiation is the way to resolve property disputes over developing privately-owned projects like carbon pipelines.

“I would negotiate rather than use the heavy hand of government,” DeSantis said during a campaign stop in Garner.

DeSantis held two town hall meetings in northern Iowa this weekend and fielded questions about carbon pipelines at both events. In Algona, a woman asked DeSantis if a government agency should let a for-profit company use eminent domain to “acquire an involuntary property easement.”

“The question’s about what’s the proper scope of eminent domain. I believe it’s narrow,” DeSantis said. “I believe it’s for public purposes and I think when you have some of these projects, you need to negotiate with the property owners rather than use the coercise power of the state. Negotiate.”

At a town hall forum a few hours later in Garner, a man told DeSantis the carbon pipeline debate “is tearing our state apart.”

DeSantis said he doesn’t know all the details about the issue, but repeated his preference for negotiation on such projects. “There is a narrow role for eminent domain for things that are of really significant public use,” DeSantis said. “I mean, it has been used for highways. I would use it for the border wall down south if need be, but that would be kind of last resort.”

The forums DeSantis held in Garner and Algona were in counties where the proposed Summit Carbon Capture pipeline would pass through.