JOHNSTON — Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says a “significant” percentage of landowners should agree to let carbon pipelines run through their property before any developer is granted eminent domain authority to acquire land from unwilling property owners.
“If eminent domain is going to be considered for use in these projects, it needs to be as a tool of last resort,” Naig says. “It needs to come when and if there have been significant voluntary agreements across the state.”
John Norwood, a small business owner and Polk County Soil and Water Commissioner, is the Democrat who’s running against Naig. Norwood says all pipeline land deals should be voluntary and the pipeline owners should make yearly payments to landowners and to counties.
“They’re bearing a new risk,” Norwood says. “The pipeline is carrying a dangerous product and they need to upgrade their EMS systems.”
Norwood says the pipelines aren’t the right answer for the long term success of the ethanol industry.
“Rather than trying to use the carbon pipelines to prop up a declining market which is our automobiles, as they shift to electric vehicles, we ought to be looking at the hard to electrify markets and there are four of them,” Norwood says. “It’s airplanes. It’s locomotives. It’s marine boats. It’s long-haul trucks.”
Naig, a Republican who is seeking a second full term as ag secretary, says an over reliance on electric vehicles is dangerous and ethanol use should expand.
“The ethanol industry needs to be looking at how do they lower the carbon intensity of that fuel and there are various ways to do that. Pipelines can accomplish that,” Naig says. “We should look at higher inclusion rates of ethanol and biodiesel, like we’ve done in the state of Iowa, pushing to E15 and beyond.”
The candidates made their comments during the Iowa Press program which aired over the weekend on Iowa PBS.