Poll: Iowans support oil pipeline and wind project but reject using eminent domain for them


Turbines from a wind farm in northwest Iowa. (Jim Hammer/Flickr)
Turbines from a wind farm in northwest Iowa. (Jim Hammer/Flickr)

Nick Fetty | March 5, 2015

Des Moines Register poll conducted last month has found that the majority of Iowans support a proposed oil pipeline and wind electricity transmission line which would pass through the state but oppose using eminent domain to accomplish the projects.

The poll shows that 57 percent of those surveyed were in favor of the proposed Bakken oil pipeline which would cross through 17 counties diagonally across the state. Thirty-two percent opposed the project while 11 percent were not sure. The pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Critics of the project cite that it is an unwise investment at a time when the nation should be divesting from its reliance on fossil fuels while proponents say that it is safer than current transport methods such as by rail.

Sixty-four percent those surveyed supported the Rock Island Clean Line which would cover approximately 375 miles in Iowa transporting electricity generated by wind turbines to Illinois. Twenty-four percent were against it and 12 percent were not sure. The $2 billion project aims to build 200 wind turbines in the Hawkeye State. Proponents say that it offers more benefits than the Bakken project while opponents question the use of eminent domain to make it happen.

The poll also found that 74 percent of survey respondents opposed the use of eminent domain for either project, while 19 percent favored it and 7 percent were unsure. Officials with both projects are asking the Iowa Utility Board for permission to use eminent domain to carry out the proposals. Both projects would cover large parts of rural Iowa and farmers have been divided on the use of eminent domain.

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