Many Iowa farmers and landowners in the path of the Dakota Access “Bakken” Pipeline have been forced to surrender their land against their will for the pipeline, because of the abuse of “eminent domain” law by the state of Iowa.
The law of eminent domain was originally intended to enable the construction of large projects that promote the “public good” — think interstate highways, railroads, and schools. But now eminent domain is being abused for corporate greed by Big Oil in Iowa and across the country.
So a number of brave Iowa farmers and landowners are standing up to challenge Dakota Access and the state of Iowa in court, arguing that the pipeline company doesn’t deserve eminent domain power because this pipeline would only benefit Big Oil — at the expense of our private property rights, and our water, land and climate.
If the nine Iowa landowners involved in this lawsuit prevail and the Court strikes down the use of eminent domain for private gain, the precedent will benefit farmers and landowners across the state, and limit the power of Big Oil or any corporations that want the power to condemn our land.
Calhoun County landowner Cyndy Coppola is one of the nine landowners suing Dakota Access and the state of Iowa:
“When I first saw that topsoil piled up when they started digging the trench for the pipeline, my first reaction was to cry, because we’ve tried everything”, said Coppola, who was even arrested on her own land taken by eminent domain during a Bold Iowa nonviolent action to stop construction on the pipeline.
If this pipeline leaks, oil will work its way into the Missouri and Mississippi River watersheds — the source of drinking water for 18 million Americans. If completed, the Dakota Access pipeline would produce greenhouse gases equivalent to 30 new coal-fired power plants.
Construction of the pipeline affects us all, no matter where we live.
Stand with the landowners who have fought so hard to defend their property rights — and all of our water, land and climate — against Dakota Access.