Residents and interested stakeholders listen to presentations at a public meeting regarding Wolf Carbon Solutions’ proposed pipeline that would carry CO2 from ADM plants to southern Illinois on Tuesday at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)
CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is backing a carbon dioxide pipeline that would benefit ADM, one of its members, despite opposition from many landowners to the proposed route.
“We have reviewed this project and our organization supports this project and only this CO2 pipeline project in Iowa at this time,” Economic Alliance executive director Doug Neumann said at a briefing. Tuesday for Wolf Carbon Solutions, which proposed a 250 mile CO2 pipeline between ADM’s plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton and an underground sequestration site in Illinois.
“To sustain Iowa’s agribusiness economy, we need companies like ADM to succeed,” Neumann said.
Chris Riley, director of state government relations for ADM, said the pipeline will help the ethanol and food plant reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The carbon dioxide generated by the plant would be dehydrated and compressed before being shipped in a 16-inch underground pipeline to ADM’s sequestration site near Decatur, Illinois. Wolf wants to find other industrial customers to tie into the project, which would qualify for up to $1 billion a year in federal tax credits.
“When something doesn’t seem right and entire communities are against it, you have to follow the money,” said Cindy Golding, Linn County small business owner, candidate for District 83 of the Iowa House as a Republican. “Would projects like this exist if it weren’t for using our tax money to enrich an international company like ADM?”
Jessica Wiskus, a Lisbon Democrat running for Iowa Senate District 42, also spoke out against the pipeline on Tuesday. She doesn’t think pipelines are safe and questions the environmental benefits versus tolls for landowners.
“In Iowa, you’ll be asking us to live within 10 feet of these carbon pipelines,” she said. “And we will be forced to do so in condemnation of our lands.”
Wolf officials have said they do not want to use eminent domain to force landowners into granting easements for the pipeline, and the company has not used eminent domain on past projects.
Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator, two other companies that have proposed CO2 pipelines through Iowa, also said they would prefer voluntary easements.
But Summit, faced with a large number of landowners refusing to grant easements, petitioned the Iowa Utilities Board to allow use of eminent domain for 681 miles of pipeline across northern and western Iowa. ‘Iowa. The board of directors always examines the application of the company.
“If you are unable to obtain voluntary easements in the two-mile corridor, what are your next steps?” Linn County farmer Josh Henik asked Wolf officials on Tuesday.
“If we get to a point where we can’t find anyone in the two-mile corridor, do we reclassify to build outside the two-mile corridor or do we use eminent domain?” Wolf Chairman David Schmunk said the company has yet to consider those options.
At the meeting, several people raised concerns that everyone on the pipeline route had not received official notification of the meeting.
Tracey McDaneld, director of government relations and lands at Wolf, said the company decided not to send notices to 5,289 landowners in the two-mile corridor because it does not appear the construction of the pipeline will affect them. .
Jeff Cook, an attorney with the Office of the Consumer Advocate, said at the meeting that he did not believe Wolf violated Iowa law by sending certified letters to a smaller group of property owners. Wolf cannot negotiate with landowners – or pursue eminent domain – without first providing a certified opinion.
Wolf can submit his permit application 30 days after his last briefing, which is now due to be held virtually on September 19. If the Public Utilities Commission grants a permit, Wolf hopes the pipeline will be in service by 2025.
Mount Vernon resident Steve Pisarik asks the Wolf Carbon Solution panel about community safety during a public meeting regarding Wolf Carbon Solutions’ proposed pipeline that would transport CO2 from ADM plants to southern Illinois on Tuesday at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)
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