Eminent Domain bill rebuked by The Des Moines Register

A bill designed to stifle large scale infrastructure projects in Iowa is currently being reviewed by lawmakers in the state House and Senate. Unsurprisingly, the editorial staff at The Des Moines Register has voiced its dissent in last week’s  “Roses and Thistles” section. The staff opined:

 “Bills backed by key Republicans and Democrats in both houses would require companies to have voluntary easements from 75 percent of property owners before receiving eminent domain authority from the state. Pipeline and power line companies say setting the bar so high could force them to risk costly investments in projects that may never happen. That would be fine with some proponents of these bills, however, because their aim is to block both projects. In the process, however, they could prevent all future pipelines and powerlines, even ones that environmentalists might support. Until scientists figure out a way to magically deliver power without wires or underground pipes, they will be necessary.”

Hampering new energy infrastructure projects will not make our region safer and will not draw the investment and jobs that our economy needs in order to grow.  As the editorial staff pointed out, power lines and pipelines may not be perfect, but they are necessary. In light of last week’s events in Heimdal, ND show, diversifying how we get energy to consumers is absolutely critical. As The Des Moines Register piece pointed out, this bill does not bring any constructive ideas to that issue.