Bold Iowa Responds to Trump Action on Dakota Access Pipeline
Landowners’ lawsuit challenging use of eminent domain in Iowa still pending
Des Moines — Bold Iowa criticized in the strongest possible terms the action taken today by President Trump to expedite construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
“We’re not surprised, nor are we intimidated,” said Ed Fallon, director of Bold Iowa. “First of all, there are landowners’ court challenges to eminent domain still waiting to be decided. But most importantly, the alliance of landowners, farmers, Tribal communities, environmentalists and property-rights defenders who’ve fought this pipeline for over two years aren’t going to lie down and let the President’s Big Oil buddies roll over us. They want to destroy our land, water and climate and trample on our Constitutional rights? Well, they’ve got a fight on their hands — a huge fight.”
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers last year rejected the company’s permit application for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River in North Dakota, stating it had failed to properly consult the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and account for impacts to the tribe’s water supply and cultural resources.
However, today’s Executive Order supersedes this action by the Army Corps — ignoring the Army Corps’ finding that an Environmental Impact Statement is warranted — and allows the project to immediately resume construction.
In Iowa, the court is expected to rule any day now on the legal challenge Iowa landowners have mounted to the granting of eminent domain for Dakota Access. Landowner plaintiffs in the case include Cyndy Coppola of Calhoun County, who was arrested on her own land for which eminent domain authority is still under judicial review in this case.
The District Court is also expected to rule on Sierra Club Iowa Chapter’s challenge of the Iowa Utilities Board’s decision to issue a permit for Dakota Access to construct a hazardous liquid pipeline across Iowa.
Sierra Club’s attorneys argued that Dakota Access did not show that the pipeline was necessary to serve the public; the impacts to the environment and the dangers of oil spills are reasons that the permit should not have been granted; and the IUB ignored the impacts of climate change.
Bold Iowa is part of the Bold Alliance, building a coalition of small-and-mighty groups in rural states to fight Big Oil, protect landowners against the abuse of eminent domain, and work for clean energy solutions while empowering a political base of voters who care about the land and water.
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