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Open Letter to the Iowa Utilities Board – Say No to Summit Carbon Solutions’ Carbon Pipeline Project

November 23, 2022


Dear Geri Huser, Richard Lozier, and Joshua Byrnes,

I am writing to share the Oakland Institute’s new report, The Great Carbon Boondoggle: Inside the Struggle to Stop Summit’s CO2 Pipeline, with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). In light of the findings of the report, we urge the Board to deny both Summit Carbon Solutions’ eminent domain and hazardous liquid pipeline permit requests.

The report unmasks the billion-dollar financial interests and high-level political ties driving the Midwest Carbon Express, exposing that its beneficiaries will not be the people nor the environment, but rather its investors, who stand to make billions of dollars in profit from the project. By contrast, if Summit’s carbon pipeline is built, residents across the Midwest will bear the environmental, health, and safety hazards associated with the pipeline, including potential leaks and ruptures, decreased property and crop values, and increased violence against Indigenous communities.

While the stated mission of the IUB is to “regulate utilities to ensure that reasonably priced, reliable, environmentally responsible, and safe utility services are available to all Iowans,” it is highly unlikely that carbon pipelines will provide such services to residents of the state. Moreover, the report raises important questions around your ability to carry out this mandate independently as members of the IUB, given you were appointed by governors who received political contributions from Summit Carbon Solutions’ founder Bruce Rastetter and from investors in the project such as Deere & Company.

Ensuring that no conflicts of interest influence decisions surrounding the Midwest Carbon Express would require members of the IUB to recuse themselves. In the case you fail to do so, we call on you to dismiss Summit Carbon Solutions’ eminent domain and hazardous liquid pipeline permit requests given the harm these projects will inflict on local communities, as well as overwhelming opposition to the pipelines. We remain available to provide any additional information and look forward to your response.


Anuradha Mittal
Executive Director
The Oakland Institute