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Mortenson Rejects Schoenbeck’s Contention that CO2 Pipelines Qualify for Eminent Domain

The Republican leaders of the Senate and House are split on whether the Iowa Republicans running Summit Carbon Solutions ought to be able to seize land for their carbon dioxide pipeline via eminent domain. Senate boss Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska) has said eminent domain for this waste disposal project is as essential for the public good as eminent domain for roads and power and water lines. But House Majority Leader Will Mortenson (R-24/Pierre) reiterated his position for KELO-TV yesterday that CO2 pipelines don’t qualify for eminent domain:

“I continue to believe that these carbon pipelines aren’t common carriers, aren’t carrying commodities, and should not have the ability to use eminent domain to take land,” Mortenson, a lawyer and life-long rancher, said [Bob Mercer, “Blast at Onida Ethanol Plant Hasn’t Shifted CO2 Dispute,” KELO-TV, 2023.07.10].

Senator Schoenbeck says the argument that carbon dioxide pipelines don’t deserve the power of eminent domain is “just stupid“. I wonder if he thinks the argument sounds “just stupid” when it comes from his generally intelligent and reliable House counterpart Representative Mortenson.


  1. Nick Nemec 2023-07-11 06:52

    Senator Schoenbeck needs to explain why Representative Mortenson’s contention is just stupid.

  2. sx123 2023-07-11 07:01

    “Schoenbeck says Summit Carbon Solutions has already cut a lot of ‘checks….'”

    AKA: Forcing the Issue

    Since Sunmit is private, they need to either cough up more dough to buy land from the holdouts (everyone has a price) or go around.

    I agree with both of them: co2 pipelines should be considered a common carrier but do not carry a commodity.

    Besides, Summit and Navigator are both already obsolete cuz my co2 pipeline is better and I’m gonna run it through Aberdeen and Watertown, and have both towns condemned so I don’t have to zig zag.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-07-11 07:40

    Indeed, Nick: Mortenson addresses the substance of Schoenbeck’s argument, saying CO2 pipelines aren’t like the roads, power lines, and water lines to which Schoenbeck analogizes them.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-07-11 07:45

    Off and on Senator Schoenbeck’s indolent response is sadly indicative of “early onset”.
    To brandish a label of “stupid” is to invoke a clouded judgment, an arrogance that obscures the very essence of intellectual pursuit. It is an instant dismissal, designed to silence voices that may challenge our preconceived notions. In doing so, we find ourselves firmly ensconced in the comfort of our own ignorance.
    Are we not, as beings of thought and reflection, obligated to entertain notions that may diverge from our own? To tie a ribbon of infantile derision around an assertion that strikes us as disagreeable, or dare I say, uncomfortable, is to confine our intellectual growth within the walls of stagnation.

  5. jerry 2023-07-11 10:57

    Mortenson comes from a line of folks who tend the lands. I always liked the looks of their ranch holdings, so yeah, he speaks the truth. Wonder how much Lee got bankrolled for his betrayal of landowners.

  6. Ethanol Enthusiast 2023-07-11 13:02

    Carbon is being bought, sold, and shipped along with the trading of carbon credits. How is it not a commodity at this point? Democrats created the commodity through their climate change programs and now Republicans are capitalizing on them. Carbon is a commodity.

  7. larry kurtz 2023-07-11 16:18

    Burning natural gas to make ethanol is as asinine as burning diesel fuel and food to make automobile fuel.

  8. grudznick 2023-07-11 18:14

    Free the carbons. You cannot reform them. Just let them all go free.

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