Reynolds to have conversation about ‘tweak’ to carbon pipeline rules
Governor Kim Reynolds says she’ll have a conversation with House Republicans who’ve proposed regulatory changes for the proposed pipelines for capturing carbon from ethanol plants.
“I’m sure there’s areas where we could tweak and make it better,” Reynolds told reporters late Thursday, “but we just need to make sure that we’re having an open and honest conversation about what the consequences could be moving forward.”
Twenty-two House Republicans, including the House speaker, have introduced a bill with nine different proposals that would impact when, where or even if the pipelines are built. The bill’s lead sponsor says he’s standing up for landowners along the proposed pipeline routes. As she did during the fall campaign, Reynolds said a current state law spells out how pipeline companies could be granted eminent domain authority to seize property from landowners who don’t sign voluntary easements for the pipeline. “When eminent domain has to be used, it should be used as a last resort. We should make sure that they’re fairly compensated,” Reynolds said yesterday.
Reynolds told reporters, as governor, she needs to make sure the state supports adding value to Iowa agricultural products, like corn that’s turned into ethanol. “When 55% of our farmers’ corn goes to ethanol and renewable fuels, I need to make sure that’s part of the conversation that we’re having,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds spoke briefly with reporters at the statehouse after a bill signing ceremony in her office. The governor indicated her comments shouldn’t be interpreted as favoring or opposing the House GOP bill on pipelines.
“I have to be very careful because if I weigh in on anything that’s not a bill of mine, then that kind of gives you all a pass to ask my opinion on everything that gets filed in this building and we’re coming up on our first funnel (deadline) and we’ll see a lot of those well intentioned ideas that won’t make it through the funnel, so I have to not engage too much in the process because that’s what it’s for — unless it’s a bill that I’ve filed and then I definitely will engage,” Reynolds said, “so we’ll watch and see what happens and we’ll have a good conversation about that.”
March 3 is the date of the so-called funnel deadline Reynolds mentioned. Bills that deal with taxes or spending are eligible for consideration at any time. But policy bills — like the pipeline bill — have to be approved by a House or Senate committee or they’re no longer eligible for debate.
O. KAY HENDERSON