The Iowa Senate has killed a House-passed bill written to block carbon capture pipelines by deciding not to consider it before today’s legislative deadline.

The House passed the bill 73-20 last week, but Iowa's Senate Commerce Committee opted not to take up the bill.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw said that decision means the bill appears to be dead for now, but the legislation could be considered again.

“I feel like we're OK right now,” he said. There is, however, “an infinitesimal percentage chance that somebody tries to revive something.”

The legislation would require companies that want to build liquid carbon dioxide pipelines to acquire 90% of the land for the projects through voluntary easements before being eligible to apply for eminent domain.

Summit Carbon Solutions, which is the furthest along of companies that want to build three pipelines in the Midwest planned to transport liquid CO2 from ethanol plants to sequestration sites, has about 70% of the affected route miles signed up through easements.

Shaw said the Senate “was not as enamored with” the bill. “We had a number of really good conversations in the Senate about substance on these things, that sometimes in the House was very hard to have.”

The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday announced it was not taking up the bill because there wasn't consensus to pass it, Shaw said.

“To remain eligible this session, HF 565 must pass a Senate Committee by the end of March, or otherwise be placed as unfinished business,” pipeline opponent Food & Water Watch said, conceding that “the Iowa Senate appears poised to kill (the) legislation.”

IRFA opposed the bill, arguing it would cripple efforts to build the pipelines, which IRFA maintains are critical for Iowa’s corn and ethanol producers and the state’s economy in general.

Food & Water Watch, which has been organizing opposition to the project, said in a press release Friday, that the bill was being held up by legislators with “strong ties” to Summit Carbon Solutions and that most Iowans are against the pipelines.

Shaw, however, points to Summit’s 70% sign-up figure as proof that affected landowners want the project.

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“We are hearing a lot of loud noises,” he said of the opposition. “But I will refuse to give those people the credit for representing ‘the landowners.’ They certainly represent some landowners; some landowners very much oppose these projects.” But a “supermajority” have elected to sign easements.

In a statement, Summit cited the 70% figure, achieved through 1,950 easements with 1,100 landowners. “This level of support is a clear reflection that Iowa landowners view the project as critical to supporting the state's most important industries — ethanol and agriculture,” the company said.

“Without carbon capture projects, Iowa’s ethanol industry will lose $10 billion annually,” it added, citing an IRFA-commissioned study. In addition, SCS asserts that a typical 1,000-acre farm with production split evenly between corn and soybeans would lose $43,000 in income annually.

SCS argued organizations such as FWW “oppose carbon capture projects in order to achieve their long-term goal of eliminating the ethanol industry.”

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