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FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in SC redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, MI lawmakers consider extra driving fees; CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Iowans Organize to Block Use of Eminent Domain for CO2 Pipelines

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Wednesday, February 8, 2023   

An environmental group will host an online rally tonight in support of a bill in the Iowa Legislature to block the use of eminent domain to build captured carbon dioxide pipelines.

Eminent domain allows the government to take control of private land and convert it to public use. Ethanol companies have been promised tax credits if they capture carbon dioxide, a byproduct of making the fuel, and send it to dedicated storage sites via pipeline. Three such pipelines are being planned in Iowa.

Brenda Brink, a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, said one would be built near her Story County property, and she worries about what could happen if the pipeline ruptures.

"It's dense," Brink pointed out. "Once it starts just really pluming up, it's going to be falling back down and searching for the lowest ground possible, and it's an asphyxiant."

In addition to getting tax credits, pipeline companies said theirs is a safe way to move the gas to storage sites. Senate File 101 is a one-sentence bill, which would repeal the state's eminent-domain authority for hazardous liquid pipelines. The citizens' group hosts its online gathering tonight at 6 p.m. on its website iowacci.org.

Brink noted people have been taught to "stop, drop and roll" when they see anything resembling smoke. If it included a noxious carbon dioxide gas plume, it would be exactly the wrong thing to do, since the gas would displace oxygen at ground level.

Brink is also critical of a state law allowing the Iowa Utilities Board to impose eminent domain.

"You've got three unelected members of a board who are going to determine the safety and health of a lot of Iowans and our families," Brink emphasized. "They're supposed to protect landowners and tenants from environmental and economic damages, and yet, they don't seem to be taking it seriously because, again, they're not elected."

In order for Senate File 101 to be considered, it must pass out of committee by March 3.

Disclosure: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environmental Justice, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Rural/Farming Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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