Support NFN

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a GOP presidential candidate, had a tense exchange with crowd members at an event Saturday over the use of eminent domain to install carbon capture pipelines.

At the Fourth Congressional district’s presidential rally in Nevada, Iowa, a man accused Burgum of being a “huge supporter” of eminent domain, which allows the government to seize private land for public projects, for the installation of carbon-capture pipelines.

“What’s going on with the pipeline is you’re taking private property rights away from our landowners that don’t want this,” the man said. “But eminent domain is meant to take private property for public use. There is no public value in here.”

Three companies — Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures, and Wolf Carbon Solutions — have proposed underground pipelines to move CO2 emitted from ethanol and other industrial plants from Iowa to either North Dakota or Illinois.

“The Wolf development team has never used eminent domain in its collective careers in building long-haul pipelines and it doesn’t intend to start now,” Nick Noppinger, Wolf Carbon Solutions’ vice president for corporate development, told The Gazette newspaper in February.

Hearings are ongoing in Iowa to weigh approval for Summit’s permit. Sabrina Zenor, the company’s marketing and communications director, said by text Saturday night that it understands concerns about eminent domain and aims for voluntary easements.

Navigator, which had its construction permit denied in South Dakota, was seeking permission to use eminent domain in Iowa, The Gazette reported in March.

Voters across Iowa and some in attendance at the event Saturday expressed concerns that farmers in Iowa could eventually be subjected to eminent domain for the installation of the pipelines if they don’t agree to voluntary easements.

“You stated that I was a huge supporter of eminent domain and that’s just completely false. I’m a farm owner, rancher. I support private property rights,” Burgum said, later adding, “You made a blatantly false statement about me and I have to just tell you that that’s not true.”

Burgum said he thinks there’s a demand to kill liquid fuels, but carbon sequestration can help make the fossil fuel industry more sustainable.

“We have to figure out a way like we’re doing in North Dakota, to use CO2 to reduce or have a net-negative gas in your car or diesel, then everybody can keep driving your pickup trucks like the one that I’ve got,” he said.

A woman in the crowd told Burgum she disagreed with him.

Read Full Story
NBC News Rating

Share this:

Leave a Reply