Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 32

Thursday, April 9, 2015 – Storm Lake, Iowa

{Celebrate the completion of the Iowa Pipeline Walk: Earth Day Rally to Stop the Pipeline, Wednesday, April 22 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Locust and E. 7th in Des Moines. For the latest route and schedule detail, click here.}

Ed at windfarm under 200kbSo much news to share! Most of it good. But first, a brief recap from last week’s final day of walking:

The weather whooped me good last week. Thursday’s trek was a fitting conclusion to four water-logged days. During the final mile, I relied on the full force of my walking stick to drag me through a headwind laden with rain, changing to sleet.

Windmill, real old under 200kbThe end point of that final mile provided some encouragement, as the blades of the mid-size turbines of Iowa’s oldest wind farm seemed to cheer me on. Sitting on Buffalo Ridge north of Alta, these turbines are the older variety. Ok, not this old.

WIndmill, oldNot even this old.

 

 

 

Windmill, AltaHere, this one here.

 

 

 

Windmill hit by lightningAnd one that looked like this, struck by lightning during the previous night’s thunderstorm. Ouch.

This wind farm shows how far one sustainable energy technology has come in so little time. With this kind of progress being made on so many fronts, there is no reason to further entrench the risky, dirty, heavily-subsidized oil industry with an pipeline forced upon landowners who understand the many liabilities they would be stuck with if their land is condemned by Dakota Access.

Ok, the news:

1. Eminent domain legislation is coming this week! I was in touch this weekend with two key lawmakers who assured me that, before week’s end, we’ll have companion bills with bipartisan support in both House and Senate. This is very encouraging. Stay tuned.

2. In related eminent domain news, the Iowa Supreme Court last week sided with farmers and landowners who have for years battled to prevent condemnation of their land for a recreational lake in Clarke County. More on that soon.

3. Dakota Access is growing more aggressive with landowners who refuse to allow surveyors on their property. Look for developments this week as the company seeks injunctions to force landowners to grant them access to farmers’ fields – just in time for planting, too.

4. This could be the week that the Keystone Pipeline is finally laid to rest. Great news, of course, but it also shifts the focus to the Bakken Oil Pipeline, which I fear would become the new Keystone, eventually tapping into the vast supply of tar sands oil in Alberta, locking in Iowa for decades to come as a conduit for the dirtiest oil in the world.

5. And finally, Hillary Clinton announces she’ll run for President. Ok, that’s not really news. But help make news by getting her – or any of the other prospective Republican or Democratic presidential candidates – to answer this simple question: “As President, will you use both your executive authority and your bully pulpit to oppose the Bakken Oil Pipeline?”

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Tune-in to discuss this news and to hear the latest developments on the Iowa Pipeline Walk on the Fallon Forum on Monday, April 13 at 11:00 a.m. on KDLF 1260 AM La Reina (Des Moines) and online. State Rep. Dan Kelley hosts the program, and his other guest is State Rep. Scott Ourth, who will discuss developments with the House Natural Resources Committee.

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 31

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 – Newell, Iowa

{Celebrate the completion of the Iowa Pipeline Walk: Earth Day Rally to Stop the Pipeline, Wednesday, April 22 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Locust and E. 7th in Des Moines. For the latest route and schedule detail, click here.}
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This morning, I received a disturbing message from a landowner I met recently:

“Ed. They are knocking at my door, with briefcases, TO TALK! Please hurry with your help. What are you going to do????”

I felt her desperation. I wrote back. I tried to call. Her frustration – my frustration, too – confirmed in me the importance of supporting landowners, who more than anyone, are caught in the cross hairs of this pipeline. Pipeline Marker

When I meet landowners who are scared, frustrated, confused as to what to do, I tell them no matter what, there is no reason to move quickly. Time after time, landowners recount how aggressive and persistent are pipeline representatives. Landowners are made to feel the pipeline is inevitable, they might as well sell and get it over with, they won’t get as much money if the company takes their land through eminent domain.

They hear from pipeline representatives repeatedly – at their door, by mail, on the phone. One farmer received as many as six calls a day from the company!

We – landowners, neighbors, Iowans, all of us – need to support the property owners who are under so much pressure. We need to reach out. We need to not be shy. In most cases, landowners want us to reach out. They want and need our help and the information and support we have to share – and this will become even more important as the pipeline company grows more and more aggressive.

Cherokee County farmers

Ginny Anderson and Kim Luetkeman

At the meeting tonight in Storm Lake, I met people who truly understood the importance of sticking together, of supporting each other, of not being intimidated by slick pipeline salespersons.

Gary and Ginny Anderson and their daughter, Kim, attended tonight’s meeting. They are dead-set against the pipeline. More than anyone I’ve spoken with, Ginny impressed upon me the importance of neighbors talking with each other, and of community members providing support for landowners who often feel caught between a rock and a hard place.

“Farmers are quiet people,” she said. “When bad things happen, they go inward, hole up, don’t ask for help. In the farm crisis of the 1980s, our friends and neighbors didn’t talk with us. They suffered in silence.”

Ginny recounted how her parents went to visit neighbors who were struggling to hold onto their farm in the 1980s. The neighbors didn’t ask for help, and seemed to just want to keep to themselves. Ginny says her parents were there for hours – talking, consoling, sorting things out, trying to help their neighbors figure out what to do. The neighbors were truly grateful.

“This pipeline deal feels like the same thing,” concluded Ginny. “We need to circle the wagons. And we need to keep the lines of communication open between all of us.”

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 30

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 – Knoke, Iowa

{Reminder: Help celebrate the completion of the Iowa Pipeline Walk with an Earth Day Rally to Stop the Pipeline on Wednesday, April 22 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at E. Locust and E. 7th in Des Moines.}
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule, click here.}

If there is such a thing as a perfect day for walking, today is its opposite. Cold, rainy, windy. At least the first four miles of a 13-mile day are on pavement – a welcome change from the uneven gravel that normally defines my route. The pavement is accommodating. My pace is brisk, and the wind is at my back – for now.Ed in front of old building

One of the downsides of pavement is realized almost immediately: traffic, especially semis. As the first truck of the day barrels past me, I am blasted by its draft and a cold plume of spray. The experience is a bit like getting hit in the face with a water balloon. I take the sting out of the impact by shielding my face as the truck passes.

There are lots of semis on the highway today. One comes within two feet of me as it hugs the white line. I smell the brakes as it passes, realizing the driver has to slow quickly to avoid not just me but an oncoming vehicle.

Walking in traffic is a reminder that, in the design and planning of America’s transportation system, pedestrians aren’t even an afterthought. I don’t fault the drivers. I wave and smile at each of them. Most wave back. Most give me plenty of room. The unwalkability of America – including most of urban America – is a structural problem. It is a problem of power, both the power of money and the power of the conveyances themselves. In a collision between a pedestrian and a truck on the road or a pedestrian and a highway lobbyist at the Statehouse, the victor is rarely in doubt.

As I near the end of the paved stretch of my route, a truck hauling livestock roars past. This time, perhaps as a parting gift from highway lobbyists, the acrid smell of hog manure blends with the truck’s wet blast of cold air. It’s like being hit in the face with a water balloon . . . filled with hog slurry. I am eager to get back to gravel.

I turn onto a back road that sends me across a stream, and enjoy a moment of comic relief at a sign that reads “No Trespassing Without Permission.”

I walk by two more abandoned farms. Through 4 1/2 miles, I pass six farmsteads, four in various stages of abandonment. Two are inhabited, but in need of significant repair. One is well-kept, with a long driveway up a hill, a statue of Mary standing guard at the top. On this wet day, the driveway seems too long to negotiate, and I leave my flier at the mailbox.

The extent of rural decay weighs heavy upon me. Of the three people I talk with during today’s walk, two speak with sadness about the number of farmhouses that have come down in recent years. Maybe it’s my imagination or the fatigue of walking, but the land itself feels heavy with this sense of abandonment.

The rain falls harder, and I am chagrined to discover that my jeans are wet. I glance down and find three sizable tears in my rain pants. I attempt to minimize the wetness by walking with my gloved hand covering my crotch. I feel some kinship with the teenage boys I’ve seen in Des Moines, holding their crotches as they saunter along. But my comparatively modest stint as a crotch-grabber begins and ends on an empty gravel road in northwest Iowa, and will not likely be played out on a busy street in Des Moines.

The rain stops, the wind dies down, and I am reminded that all hard times pass. Similarly, of course, all good times pass. Buddha instructs his disciples on the path of non-attachment, and Jesus instructs his not to worry about food, clothing or the future. Making this my meditation as I walk, the day’s discomforts fade, and I feel at peace as the wind, cold and rain return with still five miles to go. I remember why I am here, why I walk, why I make this sacrifice of time and comfort.

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 29

Monday, April 6, 2015 – Jolley, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule, click here.}

I am joined today by Faith Blaskovich and her two delightful granddaughters, Frankie and Sadie. The girls manage the entire 12-mile trek with me, with nary a whine nor whimper.

Ed with Faith Blaskovich and her granddaughters, Frankie and Sadie

Ed with Faith Blaskovich and her granddaughters, Frankie and Sadie

Mile after mile of empty fields and often empty farm houses can be lonely hiking conditions. So it is nice to have company on today’s walk. And it will be nice to have hundreds of you – yes, hundreds! – join me for a celebratory rally on the completion of the walk!

Here’s the lowdown on that, in press release format. Can you do three quick things to help?:

1. Get this on your calendar and recruit 5 – 10 others to come with you!

2. Send it to your own email contacts and post the Facebook invite on your own Facebook page.

3. Forward a copy to your local media contacts.

Here’s the press release that went out today. Thanks to all of you who have helped make this walk a success through volunteering, donating, walking, and more. And thanks to David Goodner for initiating the idea of the rally and getting the ball rolling.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10:00 a.m. Tuesday,  April 7, 2015 – Rockwell City, Iowa

For more information, contact:
Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or fallonforum@gmail.com

Earth Day Rally to Stop the Pipeline
Fallon to announce major new initiative –

On the morning of April 22 on the Big Sioux River in Lyon County, former State Rep. Ed Fallon will conclude his eight-week, 400-mile walk along the proposed route of the Bakken Oil Pipeline. This accomplishment will be celebrated with an Earth Day Rally to Stop the Pipeline on Wednesday, April 22 at 5:00 p.m. on the State Capitol’s west lawn (popularly known as “People’s Park”), at the intersection of Locust and E. 7th Street in Des Moines.

The focus of the rally is to:

– Celebrate Earth Day and the completion of Fallon’s 400-mile walk.
– Demand that the Iowa Legislature take swift action on eminent domain.
– Launch a major new initiative in the effort to stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline.

Fallon will be joined by local supporters and by Iowa landowners he met during the walk.

“The Iowa Legislature must, during this session, pass legislation preventing the use of eminent domain for an oil pipeline,” said Fallon. “I’m asking all able-bodied Iowans of conscience who are free from work duties and other obligations to join me at the State Capitol and unite our voices to send the strongest possible message and demand action.”

Fallon has been walking across Iowa for the past five weeks along the proposed path of the pipeline. He will finish his walk in Lyon County on April 22 before driving back to Des Moines for the 5:00 p.m. rally. He has met hundreds of Iowans opposed to the pipeline during his travels and will bring their stories with him to the State Capitol.

Fallon says he also will make a big announcement at the rally about his future plans and his vision for what needs to happen next in the movement to stop the pipeline.

“In addition to calling on the Iowa Legislature to pass a strong eminent domain bill, I’m preparing an announcement at this rally about a significant initiative to advance efforts to stop the pipeline,” concluded Fallon.

The Earth Day Rally to Stop the Pipeline is co-sponsored by Climate Action NOW! and American Friends Service Committee.

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Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 28

Thursday, April 2, 2015 – Rockwell City, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule, click here.}

Every day of this walk, I meet people who share strong testimony against the pipeline. Often, this face-to-face testimony is supplemented with material sent to me electronically. Here’s a short video I received that every Iowa farmer should watch: Corn farmer’s crop still deficient 51 years after pipeline installed.

Farmer Mervin Shenk shows stunted corn crop growing over a natural gas pipeline

Farmer Mervin Shenk shows stunted corn crop growing over a natural gas pipeline

Walking north of Rockwell City today with Marcy Burkhead, we meet Shirley Gerjets at the first house we stop at. Shirley is feisty, and as solidly against the pipeline as anyone I’ve met. “My kids tell me not to get so worked up about it, but I can’t help it. I’ve worked all my life for what we’ve got.”

She points north and east, naming one neighbor after another who is against the pipeline. “I hope everyone is as mad as I am, because to tell you the truth, I told those guys to go to hell.”

See what I said about feisty!

Shirley Gerjets and Marcy Burkhead

Shirley Gerjets and Marcy Burkhead

Shirley learned about the oil spill two years ago on a wheat farm in North Dakota. That helped fire her up. Tesoro Corp. – the company responsible for the spill – is still working to clean up the mess left by 865,200 gallons of oil covering an area the size of seven football fields. Tesoro originally estimated the clean-up cost at $4 million. It’s now $20 million, and it will be at least another year before the work is complete.

As I read the Associated Press article on the North Dakota oil spill, so many things stood out as warnings for Iowa farmers who might be lured by the dollar signs dangled before them by Dakota Access. In particular, this bit of information floored me: “It was almost two weeks after {the farmer} reported the spill that state officials told the public what had happened, and only after The Associated Press asked about it.”

Continue Reading →

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 27

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 – Gowrie, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.}

As a Christian, Easter Sunday has always been a big day for me. This year, it will be bigger than usual, because I will turn exactly the age of the average Iowa farmer: 57.1 years old.

Yup. Almost hard to believe, but if I were making a living as a farmer today, I’d be a wee sliver on the young side of average.

Thomas Burkhead

Thomas Burkhead

Indeed, most farmers I’ve met on the walk are on the upside of 65. So it was refreshing today to meet Thomas Burkhead. At 27 years old, by farmer standards, Thomas is practically a newborn. He spends most of his time working at Grade A Gardens in Johnston, providing food for 100 families on a weekly basis during the growing season. “If it grows in Iowa, we’re growing it,” says Thomas.

Thomas makes regular trips back to his family’s fifth-generation Calhoun County farm, where I stay tonight with him and his mom, Marcy. Thomas cooks up a wonderful dinner of mostly Iowa-grown products. The conversation is as rich and satisfying as the food itself.

The pipeline would run within a half mile of the Burkhead’s home place. “One minute of leaking would be equivalent to two tanker trucks spilling,” says Thomas. “Everything’s tiled around here, so the oil would get into the tiles and could go for miles. Furthermore, I’ve talked with people who install tile, who say it’s really hard to repair it once it’s been cut.”

Thomas is “accepting of all forms of agriculture,” but his heart is with the local-foods movement. He feels an oil spill would be particularly devastating to organic farms. “I read about a farm along the Yellowstone River,” he said, reflecting on the huge spill in Montana earlier this year. “That farm raises organic vegetables, and has goats on pasture. They’re getting the run around from Exxon, and they don’t know if they can remain certified organic.”

I ask Thomas how other landowners and farmers in the area feel about the pipeline. “Most of the neighbors I’ve talked with are against it,” he replies. “But most of them feel it’s a done deal, like they don’t have a say.”

And that, I believe, is one of the main challenges we face. Continue Reading →

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 26

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Dayton, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.}

The proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline weaves a path that avoids Iowa’s cities and towns. Consequently, my encounter with most communities is to admire their grain elevator from one or more miles away.

At the Iron Saddle in Dayton, Iowa L to R: Kendra Breitsprecher, Ed Fallon, Tom Cole, Amanda DeVries and Peter Clay Photo by Patrick Breitsprecher

At the Iron Saddle in Dayton, Iowa
L to R: Kendra Breitsprecher, Ed Fallon, Tom Cole, Amanda DeVries and Peter Clay
Photo by Patrick Breitsprecher

The exception is when I’ve got a community meeting. Today, I rush through the last 5 miles of my walk to get to Dayton in time for a gathering at the town’s community center. Compared with many rural communities, Dayton is robust, boasting a slew of business-types that abandoned most Iowa towns long ago.

Most impressive is the fact that . . . ok, wait for this . . . and to build the suspense . . . first a couple of statistics:

Des Moines, Iowa
Population: 207,510
Newspapers: One

Dayton, Iowa
Population: 811
Newspapers: Two

Yup!  The small town of Dayton has two newspapers! Reporters from both the Dayton Review and the Dayton Leader were at tonight’s public meeting, as was Bill Shea with the Fort Dodge Messenger.

Prior to the meeting, I sat down over dinner with Amanda DeVries of the Leader and Kendra Breitsprecher of the Review. Their relationship is not some hot, competitive cross-town rivalry. No angry glares were cast across the table. No food was thrown. As far as I could tell, the two were best of friends.

I know, in a world dominated by sensationalism in the media, kinda disappointing, isn’t it?

Kendra is spunky, outspoken. Brash even. And although the rapport between her and Amanda is amicable, there’s still some friendly competition. Says Kendra, “If you want tradition, the Review is your choice. If you want quality writing, a true commitment to the community, and consistent coverage using all sorts of technology, the Leader is for you. We’re all about family and community.”

Kendra points out that the owner of the Review doesn’t live anywhere near Dayton. “{He} and I would have been throwing food,” she says.

Amanda echoes the competitive nature of the relationship: “I look to Kendra as a competitor, yes, but her kids are older than mine, and I would be comfortable asking her ‘mom’ stuff.”

There’s lots of great, detailed conversation at the community meeting, including some pointed questions for me and other anti-pipeline attendees. One gentleman playfully tries to trap me into admitting that I trespass (which I don’t – I’m always meticulous about staying on the public roads). He declares that if I come on his land he could have me arrested. I respond, “Or you could save us both time and just grab your shotgun. But really, why would I want to follow the exact path of the pipeline when I’d end up covered with mud and only meet a bunch of squirrels.”

He laughs a bit, and after the meeting we shake hands and exchange a smile.

In Webster County, the public’s view of the pipeline is mixed. I met a farmer who was happy to have sold an easement. We talked for about 20 minutes while sitting in his gator as he took a break from picking up rocks in his fields. “I will say this,” he admitted. “I was about 90% certain this pipeline was going through. Now, I’m less confident.”

Well, that’s music to my ears! I inquire about why he feels that way, and he says, “Well, all I can tell you is that, more and more, I hear a lot from those who are opposed. A lot of people seem to be against it.”

After the meeting, Amanda assures me that she now has a stronger sense that there is opposition in Webster County.

This is good news. It fires me up to continue my walk to its Earth Day conclusion. It should fire-up all of us to press forward – talking, writing, studying and speaking out!

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 25

Monday, March 30, 2015 – Pilot Mound, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.}

In the countryside on open gravel roads, few days are “perfect” for walking. Today, the temperature is pleasant enough, but the wind is brutal, relentless, draining. It is hard on my body, but equally hard on my mind.

Walking in wind

Walking in wind

Walking north and west, either a crosswind or a headwind – 30 miles per hour, with gusts up to 40 – pounds away at me the whole day.

My path leads toward an impressive, sprawling wind farm. I imagine the towering turbines as living beings, happy, watchful sentinels whose blades are outstretched arms hungrily embracing the strong winds. My bane is their blessing, and a blessing for the Earth.

The near constant traffic of corn stover racing across the road in front of me serves as a visual reminder of the intensity of the wind. Every so often, a flock of birds attempts to take flight, only to be spanked back down to the ground. Once, a hawk, prey in its talons, tries to fly from me into the headwind, but must settle for a less desirable downwind destination.

Continue Reading →

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 24

Saturday, March 28, 2015 – Fraser, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.}

Crossing the Des Moines River Valley north of Boone proves refreshing, invigorating. The nearly two-mile stretch offers a dramatic contrast to the flat farm fields that suddenly give way to rolling, wooded bluffs cascading down to the river below. The valley’s beauty is slightly soiled in my mind as I consider the impact of a pipeline break at this location.

I stop at a house on the riverbank and am greeted by three charging jack terriers. A cheery woman calls them off, and without even asking my name or mission, invites me in to visit with her husband.

I step into a fishing cabin and find myself face to face with an older, bearded gentleman in bib overalls. He is delightful, full of stories, questions and history. He clearly loves the river, and spends much of his time fishing. On two recent occasions, the river rose to the very edge of where we are seated. I suggest climate change, but he’s inclined to blame the Army Corps of Engineers.

Weslie Phipps displaying Century Farm certificate (family owned for over 100 years)

Weslie Phipps displaying Century Farm certificate (family owned for over 100 years)

We entertain each other with a mix of pipeline, professional and personal stories while I devour two peanut-butter sandwiches and give my feet a much-needed massage.

I cross the river and come to a beautiful, well-kept farm house with a bright red barn. Teresa Phipps answers the door, and invites me in to talk with her husband, Weslie, a farmer and self-described strict constitutionalist, who is adamantly against the pipeline.

“The pipeline representative called me to talk about coming out here to survey,” Weslie informs me. “I told her they’d have to carry me out in a pine box before I’d let any oil pipeline people on my property.”

“And you know how she responded,” continued Weslie, still a bit shocked from the recollection. “She said, ‘I’ll make a note of that.'”

The pipeline would lie about 400 feet from the Phipps’ well. “I told them I’m not going to take a penny from you and I don’t want you on my land, because I don’t want to get a letter someday saying that I’m liable for a spill,” said Weslie.

Enbridge spill on the Kalamazoo River

Enbridge spill on the Kalamazoo River

Good question, and one that comes up a lot. When the pipeline breaks, who ultimately will be stuck with the cleanup cost?

As I cross the river that provides drinking water to a big chunk of Iowa’s population, I wonder how much damage a pipeline break here would cause. What if Dakota Access – a LIMITED liability corporation – just walked away from the disaster? Who would be left holding thw bag? Landowners? Taxpayers? Continue Reading →

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 23

Friday, March 27, 2015 – Boone, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.}

In terms of opposition to the pipeline, my walk through Boone County is on fertile ground. I’ve talked with at least 60 people and have yet to meet a single one who supports the pipeline.

But I was saddened today to meet an elderly woman who signed with the pipeline company despite her strong opposition. She hadn’t intended to sign until her lawyer advised her to get it over with. Argh! I wanted to tell her that, just as with a big medical decision, a second opinion is always advisable.

Keith Puntenney

Keith Puntenney

Yesterday’s meeting in Boone drew around 40 people, including Keith Puntenney, a farmer and an attorney.

In response to the claim that Iowa already has 40,000 miles of pipeline, so what’s one more, Keith points out, “Nothing this big as ever been put through Iowa. This is like no other pipeline that’s ever been laid.”

Between Keith and the other farmers in attendance, I received quite an education about the workings of groundwater.

“Iowa is part of the six-state prairie pothole region, which resulted from the Wisconsin glacier,” explained Keith. “Everything around here is based on trying to manage the underground water system in order to farm, a system that has been in place and working for over 100 years.”

Keith on his land, wind turbines in the background

Keith on his land, wind turbines in the background

“This pipeline is going to create a five-foot dam. When water hits that dam, instead of running downhill like it does now, it’s going to rise up into the topsoil, into your crops. With the additional moisture caused by that dam and the heat created by the pipeline itself, you’ve got the perfect storm for crop disease issues.”

The pipeline company is telling landowners it will put the soil back the way it was. But what I’m hearing from farmers across the state is that there’s no way they can do this, given the size of the pipeline, compaction and other factors.

The concern is echoed by Keith: “This project will turn over 300 miles of Iowa farmland stewardship on its head. There is no way they can restore the land once they strip off the top soil. This company has never dealt with a state that is pattern tiled, with the water issues and kinds of soils that we have here in Iowa.”

Toward the end of the meeting, someone asks what actions they can take. I say that besides communicating with the Iowa Utilities Board, legislators, neighbors and anyone else who will listen, acquiring information is key. “Knowledge is power,” as a lawmaker once told me during my freshman term at the State House.

Regarding this pipeline, there is so much to know that it is sometimes overwhelming. The information we have, the knowledge we acquire, needs to be shared with others, distributed as widely as possible.

Yes, knowledge is power – especially when combined with truth in a just cause.