Pipeline Across Iowa? | Why I Oppose It

An oil pipeline is proposed to bisect the entire state of Iowa from the northwest to the southeast corner. The route is superimposed over a map of our Iowa rivers. Public information meetings are scheduled. Iowa residents can express their opinions at those meetings. I plan to attend and voice my opposition to the proposal.


Click to embiggen

Some of the cities near the proposed route…


The proposed route would deliver crude oil to an existing pipeline at Pakota, Illinois. From there, it parallels and crosses the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers down to the gulf coast in Texas. The company also plans to ship crude by rail to the east coast.


Why Do I Oppose This Plan?

  • Fossil fuel use around the globe is driving increased Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. That in turn is raising our average global temperatures. Global warming is an issue we should be doing more to combat. This pipeline would not reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. The pipeline would increase our dependency by making crude oil more available.
  • Instead of pouring money into a pipeline, we should be investing more in alternative and renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind. Our children and grandchildren deserve a future with clean air and normal climate. By building another pipeline, we are not investing in technology that will help secure a better future climate. We are continuing on the same path toward global warming and the resultant problems. Our children and grandchildren will pay for our mistakes and lack of action today.
  • I worked as a public school physics teacher for my career. I understand the technologies of both the current fossil fuel infrastructure and the emerging alternative energy sources. These were discussed at length in my classrooms. The dominant attitude shown by young people is that we can do better than continue the status quo of high fossil fuels consumption. They know their lives will be impacted negatively and want to see change for the better. We can make a positive difference for them.
  • Pipelines leak or burst and spoil large areas of environment and water supplies. The residents of Mayflower, Arkansas experienced that in 2013 when a pipe burst spilling thousands of barrels of crude oil into their neighborhood. Trains of tank cars derail and cause death and destruction as experienced in 2013 by the residents of Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Forty two people died. Half of the town center was destroyed. These are not isolated one-time events. Similar disasters could occur with this proposed pipeline.
  • As shown in the first graphic, this proposed pipeline crosses the Missouri River, Floyd, Little Sioux, and Maple which feed into the Missouri. It crosses the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. It parallels between the Skunk River and Des Moines River as they reach the Mississippi River where it crosses into Illinois. Pipeline leaks and bursts anywhere along the route has the potential to permanently damage the environment of major Iowa rivers and the ecology of the two largest rivers of this country. I am not willing to accept such risk.

For these and other reasons not mentioned, I urge that this proposed pipeline not be built. We are at a turning point. We can choose to take the path of less fossil fuel use. We can choose the path of renewable alternative energies and reap rewards for the economy, the environment, and our grandchildren.


14 thoughts on “Pipeline Across Iowa? | Why I Oppose It

  1. farmquilter

    I would be willing to have them build a pipeline through my farm, only crossing over the Columbia River a few times, as well as other waterways. Pipelines are the safest method to transport oil and they provide revenue to the towns they pass by. I would like the United States to have energy independence and not need to be concerned about the politics in other countries effecting the cost/availability of fuel here. All the farm equipment that feeds America and a good portion of the world cannot run on wind or sun power, and I don’t think farmers are willing to go back to having horses pull machinery to harvest crops. Where is JFK when you need him? When did this country become “all about me and to hell with the rest of the country”?

    1. melissabluefineart

      I think your desire for oil to run your equipment, instead of seeking out more sustainable ways to raise food, is “all about you and to hell with the rest of the country”. Are you aware that that oil isn’t even destined for domestic use, but is intended for sale to other countries?!

    2. Jim in IA Post author

      I don’t propose we go ‘cold turkey’ on fossil fuel use. It will always have a role to play. We should be looking into the future for ways to decrease our dependence. One of the biggest is to increase the efficiency of existing technologies. We can save enormous amounts that way. Simply making crude oil more available does not motivate us to make any changes in the direction of independence from fossil fuels. It doesn’t help our planet.

      Thank you for stopping and making comments.

  2. Pingback: Pipeline Across Iowa? | Why I Oppose It | Melissabluefineart's Blog

  3. Steve Gingold

    I think that the assumed impossibility of alternative energy sources replacing traditional fossil based sources is an argument that many allow to get in the way of progress. Everything is possible with the right amount of innovative thought and development. That is what brought this country to the top of the world economic pile.
    There has been a proposed gas pipeline through Massachusetts that has little popular support. There have been mentions of dire consequences for the communities if this is not approved. That always seems to be the threat when a corporation doesn’t get its way. Unfortunately, that tactic works all too often. It is like so many other things…the possibility of something bad happening appears so much greater elsewhere and the warnings are often unheeded until it is too late.
    Anyway, good luck with the resistance to this project. I hope you are successful.

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      I posted the link on my facebook page today also. Someone added a link to an agriculture journal with some interviews with farmers who oppose and support the proposed pipeline. They talked about eminent domain, right of way, long term viability,… all the issues one would expect of a complex situation.

      Thanks for your wishes. I really hope enough resistance is heard to make a strong case at the many public meetings. If no one shows up and the project goes on without strong discussion, I will be very disappointed.

    2. Jim in IA Post author

      There were quite a few at the meeting opposed to the project. The purpose of the public meeting was to inform land owners affected of the different aspects of the project that would be impacting them. It was not intended as a meeting to argue the merits. We had to word our questions on technical issues carefully so we could ask them and express our point of opposition.

      Arguments of merit will come at some later date. Seems like that should come first in my opinion.

  4. Lynn Williams

    I want to know just where this is going to cross into Jasper County in Iowa as I do NOT want this running through my hometown Prairie City as we have a wildlife refuge south of town which absolutely must NOT be damaged in any way shape or form. I WILL protest it running anywhere near my town !

    1. Jim Ruebush Post author

      I tried to locate a map specific to Jasper county. The best I can do is this. http://bit.ly/1TT6AlX
      It doesn’t give enough detail to answer your question. Maybe you can contact someone in your county who can help.

      I’ve been following the public input to the utilities board hearings. There are many like yourself who are opposed.

  5. IndiaRBowers

    Hi! Could you contact me to talk about this? I am originally from Iowa and work in legal advocacy in human rights. I am unable to find a contact email, hope this works :)! -India


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