Talk of Taking Iowans’ Land for Pipeline Fills Statehouse Hearing

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa lawmakers moved ahead plans to make it more difficult for a proposed crude oil pipeline to request eminent domain that would force landowners to comply.

House and Senate members convened in a joint subcommittee hearing to study the plan. The proposal would require a company to get at least 75 percent of affected landowners to agree to lease their land before the project could go forward.

The legislation would also require a company to secure at least a $500,000 bond for damages in case the pipeline leaked.

The idea would now need to make it through committees in both chambers, before the full legislative bodies could take it up for debate.

The proposed Bakken Pipeline would travel from the northwest corner of Iowa to the southwest part of the state and carry North Dakota crude oil through Iowa to Illinois. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners is behind the project.

Landowners have worried the company could go to the Iowa Utilities Board to use eminent domain and require reluctant landowners to lease the necessary land for the underground pipeline.

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