Exclusive — Ramaswamy: Eminent Domain for CO2 Pipelines in Iowa ‘Arguably Unconstitutional’

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Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy criticized carbon capture and storage companies’s ability to use eminent domain to take land from Iowa farmers for carbon emission pipelines as “arguably unconstitutional” in an interview with Breitbart News. 

Ramaswamy released a video Tuesday night describing the situation in Iowa and spoke in further detail with Breitbart News on the matter Wednesday and held Republicans responsible in part for what he sees as the “globalist climate agenda … literally affecting people in a day to day sense.”

“So there’s a broader global climate agenda that is hostile to carbon dioxide in the air, so in response to that, the U.S. – and it’s been multiple administrations, Republican and Democrat – that has signed into law these special subsidies for those producers, including ethanol producers, who capture carbon dioxide and remove it from the air, so you get paid like a certain dollars per metric ton of doing so.”

“In Iowa, what’s happened is they’ve started doing that as a business with ethanol plants, capturing the carbon dioxide that ethanol plants emit as part of their production of ethanol, and then they’ve been building these pipelines to bury them into the ground in North Dakota, so it runs across South Dakota, runs across North Dakota, runs across much of Iowa,” Ramaswamy explained. 

He expressed concern about the potential for bursts in carbon pipelines, pipelines he would later argue are not necessary to begin with. He pointed to an instance where a carbon pipeline ruptured near Satartia, Mississippi, in February 2020, leading to 300 evacuations and 40 people receiving medical attention, as the Associated Press (AP) noted. 

“When you liquefy carbon dioxide, or you create a hazardous liquid pipeline, there are risks of explosion,” Ramaswamy told Breitbart News.

Many farmers are not keen on pipelines carrying liquified carbon dioxide running through their parcels as Ramaswamy contends that they pose “a real risk of hazard” to land, crops, and inhabitants.

In some cases, corporations offer to purchase land from farmers, “but many farmers don’t want to sell their land,” he added. Ramaswamy said that in some cases, companies use eminent domain “to forcibly take the land from those farmers at a price that they don’t like.”

In late August, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported that one landowner, Richard Davis, claimed he was threatened with eminent domain by one company called Summit Carbon Solutions amid negotiations about an easement on his property. Davis’s family runs a farm on four parcels of land where they grow soybeans and corn and own cattle. 

“…Davis ultimately declined the agreements and is now subject to eminent domain requests by Summit Carbon Solutions, which told the Iowa Capital Dispatch the agent’s alleged tactics were improper,” the outlet noted. 

Ramaswamy said the policies “are coming from Republicans.”

“I mean, some Democrats too, but it’s also coming from Republicans that have enacted an incredibly unpopular and wrongful and arguably unconstitutional provision allowing for the eminent domain of land,” he added. “And under basic legal principles, eminent domain is reserved only for something that is necessary, yet this carbon capture pipeline is not necessary. You only believe it’s necessary if you believe this global climate cult that removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is some necessity that’s an emergency, which it’s not.” 

“If you wanted it, Iowa to get a lot of these federal subsidies, there’s a different way you could do this without the pipelines, which is methanol conversion,” he explained. “You can take the carbon dioxide and convert it into methanol. There’s other companies that are doing that.”

Ramaswamy will speak more on the matter Friday with the Free Soil Coalition in Des Moines.


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