California oil spill gives urgency to vote on SF 506

Iowa CCI and landowners call on Senator Gronstal for action on eminent domain legislation

 

After California oil spill, urgency of vote before the end of the session becomes clearer

 

For Immediate Release: 05.21.15

Contact: Nathan Malachowski, Iowa CCI, 515 282 0484, Nathan@iowacci.org

 

DES MOINES – Just days after a disastrous oil spill off the coast of California that spilled 100,000 gallons of crude oil from a 24-inch pipeline, Iowa farmland owners, concerned citizens, and members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement called on Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal to bring Senate File 506 to a vote. Take action to tell Gronstal to bring SF 506 for a vote! This legislation would put in place tougher protections for landowners when it comes to eminent domain abuse with the proposed Bakken Pipeline. Representatives of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition’s 27 organizations gathered alongside landowners in the pipeline’s path to decry the proposed Bakken Pipeline, a pipeline that would be larger and have a higher carrying capacity than the one that spilled near Santa Barbara.

“Iowans do what’s best for others in their communities,” said Kathy Holdefer of Jasper County. “The use of eminent domain for this pipeline does the opposite. This pipeline is good for Energy Transfer Partners, and bad for Iowans. Senator Gronstal, bring Senate File 506 to a vote before the damage has been done.”

Landowners along the tentative route of the proposed Bakken Pipeline went on to assert the importance of agricultural heritage to Iowans, and the responsibility of legislators to protect landowners and their communities from risks associated with the proposed Bakken Pipeline, as well as eminent domain abuse.

“Our farm is an Iowa century farm,” said Dan Gannon, a Jasper County farmland owner impacted by the proposed pipeline route. “We have been great stewards and we have a responsibility to maintain this land and our way of life for future generations. Legislators have a responsibility to help us protect Iowa agriculture and our communities.”

Iowa CCI also stressed the urgency of Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal bringing SF506 to the floor for a vote.

“This pipeline is all risk and no reward for Iowans,” said Nathan Malachowski, a community organizer with Iowa CCI. “This bill would require Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, to acquire 75% voluntary easements. Right now, the company has obtained only 10-15%. We don’t have time to wait until next session because the eminent domain permitting process is uncertain moving forward. We need protections in place now. Senate Majority Leader Gronstal must bring this up for a vote – unless he chooses to put the interests of an out-of-state oil company before those of Iowa landowners and citizens.”

Iowa CCI is part of a growing number of organizations, landowners, and everyday citizens across the state committed to stopping the proposed Bakken Pipeline from construction. Iowa CCI is currently working to plan community meetings across the state this summer in the 18 counties impacts by the proposed Bakken Pipeline.

Iowa CCI is a statewide, grassroots people’s action group that uses community organizing to win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics, and polluters. For more information, visit www.iowacci.org.