Summit VP says other states’ denials should not affect Iowa permit

FORT DODGE — A vice president for Summit Carbon Solutions says rejected requests to build the company’s carbon pipeline in North and South Dakota should not impact its pursuit of a construction permit in Iowa.

Micah Rorie  is in charge of land acquisition for the company and he testified this morning at an Iowa Utilities Board hearing in Fort Dodge. “I was asked the question last week about whether I thought we ought to get a permit without other state permits in play,” Rorie says, “to which I responded, ‘Yes, I think we ought to seek a permit in Iowa  regardless of what’s going on in other states.'”

John Murray, an attorney for property owners who don’t want the pipeline on their land, quizzed Rorie about Monday’s permit denial in South Dakota.  “We’re confident of our ability to obtain a permit in South Dakota. As far as what we know, I don’t know that there’s any guarantee,” Rorie said. Murray asked: “So isn’t it possible South Dakota will not grant Summit a permit?” Rorie responded: “I don’t like to think that way.”

Murray, an attorney from Storm Lake, also asked Rorie about last month’s denial of a permit to extend Summit’s pipeline through North Dakota, where the company plans to store its liquid carbon underground.  “Isn’t it possible that you’re building a pipeline to nowhere?” Murray asked. Rorie responded: “I don’t see it that way. I don’t think about how things are going in other states as it relates to what we’re needing to get done in Iowa. Yes, if we built a pipeline that didn’t have a terminus, then I guess that would be a pipeline to nowhere, but that’s not the way I see it. The way I see it is certainly the time we’re spending this morning it to see a permit in Iowa and make sure we accomplish all of the criteria to do so.”

Rorie says over 1200 Iowa landowners have voluntarily signed easements that give Summit access to over 3300 parcels of land along its proposed route through Iowa. The company is asking the Iowa Utilities Board for eminent domain authority to force 469 Iowa  landowners who object to the project to sign property easements.