Easements | Sierra Club
Once again, a battle rages on at the Iowa Utilities Board over easements granted for the private use of a corporation. This time, it’s on the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline that will take carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol plants, transport them via a pipeline through 30 counties in Iowa, ending in North Dakota where the dioxide of carbon will be buried underground (or possibly used for enhanced oil recovery in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota). On its heels is a Navigator CO2 Ventures plan for another carbon dioxide pipeline that will run through Iowa to Illinois.
It’s time to discuss the role of easements and how easements are paid.
Landowners who host the pipeline receive a one-time fee for access to their land. Landowners are also eligible for crop losses incurred during pipeline construction, which may extend over three years at a declining rate each year. From experience with the Dakota Access pipeline, crop damage lasts for over three years. If the pipeline company has to go to the landowner’s property to repair the pipeline and damage a crop, they must pay for the damage. The pipeline company has access to the property 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Ethanol plants that will be hooked up to carbon dioxide pipelines make money by selling their ethanol. Ethanol plants and the pipeline also intend to make money from credits issued by the State of California for zero-carbon fuel, which they claim covers ethanol made with carbon dioxide processes. carbon capture and storage.
The owner of the pipeline will make money transporting the liquefied carbon dioxide to North Dakota. The company that will transfer the carbon dioxide from the pipeline to its planned underground disposal site will earn money for its work.
The only entity that does not receive a share of the profits from the carbon sequestration business is the landowner. And the landowner is absolutely essential! Something’s really wrong with that. It is time to examine and reconsider how landowners are paid for the use of the easement.