President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline has been making headlines, but Iowans still face having a crude oil pipeline run through the state.
The Iowa Utilities Board will begin the Bakken pipeline hearing next week to determine if the pipeline serves the “convenience and necessity” of Iowans.
Public comments will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, at the Community Building on the Boone County Fairgrounds, 1601 Industrial Park, Boone, Iowa.
The board required an advance sign-up process for people who would like to speak and while that deadline has passed, environmentalists plan on attending the hearing on Nov. 12.
Equal numbers of speakers who are opposed and support the pipeline will be accepted, which would seem to convey that there are equal numbers of supporters and opponents in Iowa. The completed list will be posted on the Board’s website on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.
At the public comment hearing, the Board will call speakers to the appropriate microphone in the order in which they signed up, alternating between those opposed and those in favor of issuance of a permit. If each speaker list is completed before the end of the hearing on Nov. 12, including any waiting lists, the board will hear from unscheduled commenters until 5 p.m.
Cheryl Valenta, of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, noted that people can make a difference just by showing up at the hearing on Nov. 12. The group is organizing car-pooling efforts to show support for Iowa landowners affected by the pipeline. The group will leave Cedar Rapids at 5 am and return around 8:30 pm and will take up a collection from riders of each vehicle to help pay for gas.
Valenta notes that the group is also coordinating direct action showing solidarity for clean water and renewable energy, and against the pipeline, with more details coming soon.
Anyone interested in carpooling can contact Cheryl Valenta at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 319.361.2348.