Pipeline Not a Done Deal! Coalition Members Stand for Iowa’s Land and Water in Court

On December 15th, 2016, over 125 Iowans from across the state stood in solidarity for Iowa’s land, water, landowner rights, and future generations. We made clear that the Dakota Access Bakken pipeline must be stopped.

The Iowa Sierra Club and eight Iowa landowners had their day in court this morning to argue before a judge why eminent domain should not have been granted to out-of-state oil company Dakota Access.  Iowa Sierra Club, a member of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, and the plaintiffs represent the interests of all Iowans in this precedent setting case.

Kari Carney, with 1000 Friends of Iowa, a member of the Bakken Pipeline Coalition said of today’s court hearing, “At stake is far more than just the Dakota Access Pipeline. At stake is a decision of whether or not giant corporations are allowed the right to take anyone’s land, farm or home through eminent domain, solely for their corporate gain. We believe that state law does not allow that”.

Courts in three other states – Kansas, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – have all made ruling in 2016 that denied Energy Transfer Partners (the parent Company of Dakota Access) the use of eminent domain for their crude oil pipelines citing the failure to show a public benefit.

Based on the arguments today, these other cases, and state law, The Coalition believes the Judges verdict is abundantly clear: the Court must find that Dakota Access Pipeline does not meet the high bar of “promoting the public convenience and necessity.” Dakota Access’ permit must be revoked.

The attorney for the pipeline’s argument was essentially that the Judge show find in their favor since the pipeline is already in the ground – a point that landowners and the coalition strongly disagree with. Dakota Access abused our state’s eminent domain laws, and must be held accountable.

Photo: Kari Carney

Photo: Kari Carney