Eminent Domain - A Power for the Public Good

Eminent domain gives our government an extraordinary power—the power to take away a citizen’s own property, against her will. It is to be used in a very limited capacity and, by law, only for the necessary public good.

Why shouldn’t private corporations be allowed to condemn our land? Because, by law, corporate executives and board members have a fiduciary duty—a lawfully-binding responsibility—to their shareholders. They are not required to look out for the best interests of the people of Iowa. Now, that’s no one’s fault—it’s just the way things are. But it means that billion-dollar corporations are bound to come up short when it comes to serving the public good of rural Iowans.

That’s exactly what we’ve seen in Iowa this year, when Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator CO2 Ventures proposed the use of eminent domain to run their liquid hazardous waste through our farmland and rural communities against our will. These corporations have refused to respect our concerns about the safety of our communities, the integrity of our land, and the real future of our planet.

And that’s why I’ve taken such a strong stand against these CO2 pipelines: because we matter—our communities, our land, and our future matter. You might have seen me on the local news or in Des Moines, or heard me on the radio, watched one of my webinars, or noticed my op-eds in the local papers or interviews in Energy News or The Wall Street Journal.

I speak up because of all the strong and inspiring neighbors I’ve met who give me courage.

I speak up because I know that we matter—and I will not rest until Des Moines gets the message.