August 2022 Newsletter

We are quickly approaching fall and all that brings with it.  Take some time to get outdoors to enjoy some of the last warm days of the year.  The last month, the Chapter concentrated on work related to the carbon dioxide pipelines that are proposed to cross the state.  We have written about that work in this newsletter.

We hope you can join us on October 1 to celebrate 50 years of the Clean Water Act.

Take care,logo
Pam Mackey Taylor, Chapter Director and Newsletter Editor


What you can do to help the environment

  1. Put our annual meeting on your calendar - October 1, Waterloo, 10:30 to 4:00, "Celebrating 50 years of the Clean Water Act"
  2. Donate to the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club so that we can continue our work.
  3. Catch up on this month's lunch and learn education videos


In this issue of the Iowa Sierran

Carbon Dioxide Pipelines


Water Quality and Agriculture



  • To see the archive of previous Iowa Chapter newsletters

Update on Carbon Dioxide Pipelines

News about Carbon Dioxide Pipelines

Iowa is the target for three carbon dioxide pipelines.  Two of those companies - Navigator Heartland Greenway and Wolf Carbon Solutions - have public meetings in August and September.  The schedules follow this article.  The third company is Summit Carbon Solutions and they have completed their public

Summit is now releasing the names of landowners and the locations of their property for which Summit is seeking eminent domain for the easement for the pipeline.

These pipelines are centered around Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). They would carry captured carbon dioxide (CO2) from ethanol plants and fertilizer plants. CCS is very complicated but when you boil it down, the basic premise is that it captures the carbon dioxide and stores it underground (CCS) or it captures the carbon dioxide and uses it for industrial purposes.  They can also use the CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).  EOR is the process of pumping CO2 into dwindling oil fields to get the last bit of oil out of the ground.  The pipelines are being offered as a false climate solution, especially if it will be utilized for enhanced oil recovery and extending the life of coal-fired power plants and the ethanol industry. 

We already know the solutions to our climate crisis - we must end our dependence on fossil fuels and invest in solar, wind, battery storage, conservation and efficiency!  CCS is a false solution in these instances because:

  • It does not address other emissions or forms of pollution from fossil fuel extraction and industrial agriculture
  • It will allow for the extension of fossil fuel extraction through enhanced oil recovery 
  • Fails to acknowledge CO2 is incredibly dangerous and a pipeline leak or break could poison surrounding communities and first responders
  • CCS continues business as usual and delays investment in REAL climate solutions 

CCS is a false solution that takes us farther away from our climate goals. The pipeline continues business as usual, will only be feasible with massive public subsidies, and should not be approved.  Let’s invest in REAL climate solutions - not greenwashing schemes!  

Utilities Board ordered to release the names of landowners affected by the Summit carbon dioxide pipeline

On Friday, August 12, Polk County District Judge David Nelmark ruled that the Iowa Utilities Board must make the list of landowners likely to be impacted by the Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline available to the public.

The Utilities Board was refusing to release the landowner’s names at Summit’s request.  As a result, the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club made a request for the names under the Iowa Open Records Law.  Summit took the case to the Polk County court in an attempt to keep the names from being made

Jess Mazour, Conservation Program Coordinator for the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club states, “The open records request for the landowner list was made by the Sierra Club’s Iowa Chapter so that landowners would be able to know who their fellow landowners were and to organize opposition to the pipeline project. Summit vigorously fought to keep the landowner list confidential so the landowners could not form a unified opposition.”

The issue in the court case was whether Summit should be required to release the list of landowners in the pipeline corridor. Summit did not want to release the list because it would allow landowners to communicate with each other. Judge Nelmark rejected Summit’s arguments.

Summit claimed that the list was protected from disclosure as an exception to the Iowa Open Records Law. But Judge Nelmark rejected that argument.

Wally Taylor, attorney for the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club states, “The purpose of the Open Records Law is to enable the public to know what government agencies are doing.  Judge Nelmark’s ruling furthers that public interest.”

Throughout this whole IUB process, Summit has shown time and time again that they don’t want a level playing field - they want to force their private-profit pipeline on unwilling Iowans.  This is a big victory to level the playing field for landowners.  There are lots of landowners out there who are being harassed, intimidated and misled.  Now we have the opportunity to make sure they know their rights, that they aren’t alone, and that if we keep uniting against the carbon pipelines we can stop this boondoggle and protect Iowa, its farmers, communities and land.

This ruling applies to Summit but sets precedent for the Navigator and Wolf pipelines.

Summit’s Exhibit H dispute now settled

One of the key documents the carbon dioxide pipeline companies must submit to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) is called Exhibit H, which lists all of the parcels where eminent domain will be required.  The pipeline companies can request the IUB to grant them the right of eminent domain to acquire an easement on private property.  The pipeline companies must list all of those properties and the landowners’ names on Exhibit H. photo

Once Exhibit H is filed, then the IUB can proceed with setting schedules for future action – dates when testimony must be filed, deadlines for intervention, and the targeted dates for the hearing.

Exhibit H is also important since it lets the landowners and the public know the route of the pipeline across the state of Iowa.

Summit Carbon Solutions failed to file an Exhibit H when they made their application with the Iowa Utilities Board.  The Sierra Club filed a motion with the IUB requesting that the Exhibit material be filed.  The IUB refused to make Summit file the Exhibit H.  Even though Summit requested that the Utilities Board set a schedule for future actions, the IUB did not do so since Exhibit H had not been filed.

So, there was a stalemate.

In the meantime, Summit’s land agents continued harassing the landowners in attempts to get them to sign voluntary easements.  Summit made several outrageous mailings to the landowners complaining about Sierra Club.  And the landowners have continued their resistance to the project.

This month, the standoff ended.  Summit has been filing Exhibit H material with the Utilities Board, laying out almost 1700 parcels of land where eminent domain is being requested, about 60% of the route.

Sierra Club will continue participating in the Utilities Board process.

Photo is of landowners opposing the CO2 pipelines signing the plat book where their land is located.


Wolf carbon dioxide pipeline meetings in August and September

Wolf Carbon Solutions is partnering with Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) to run a carbon dioxide pipeline from Cedar Rapids, to Clinton, Iowa, and then to Decatur, Illinois. Image of ADM Wolf Route through Linn, Johnson, Cedar, Clinton and Scott Counties Along the way, the pipeline will cross 5 Iowa counties – Linn, Johnson, Cedar, Clinton, and Scott.  The next step for this project is for the company and the Iowa Utilities Board to host public meetings in each county.  The schedule is:








North Liberty Community Center, 520 Cherry St., North Liberty, Iowa




Tipton High School Auditorium, 400 E. Sixth St., Tipton, Iowa




Veterans Memorial Building, 50 Second Ave. Bridge, Cedar Rapids, Iowa




Wild Rose Convention Center, 777 Wild Rose Drive, Clinton, Iowa




River Center (Adler Theater), 136 E. Third St., Davenport, Iowa






Navigator carbon dioxide pipeline meetings in September

The Navigator pipeline project connects ethanol and fertilizer plants in Iowa to a pipeline that leads to Illinois where the carbon dioxide (CO2) will be stored underground.Image of latest Navigator route map  See a map of the counties that will be crossed by the project.

Navigator is planning to conduct a series of meetings involving the landowners and the Iowa Utilities Board beginning in August and running through September.  Navigator recently announced that it was changing its route in Iowa and would also be building the pipeline in two phases.  As a result, Navigator is required to hold a number of additional public meetings.  The schedule is:






Sept 13

12:00 PM

Forster Community Center, 404 1st Ave,
Rock Rapids, IA 51246


Sept 13

6:00 PM

9th Street Centre, 418 9th St,
Sibley IA, 51249


Sept 15

12:00 PM

Lee County Fairgrounds, Youth Learning
Center, 1100 N. Main St,
Donnellson, IA 52625


Sept 21

12:00 PM

TBD, see

Virtual Meeting

Sept 21

6:00 PM


Annual meeting - October 1 - "Celebrating 50 years of the Clean Water Act"

The Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club will be "Celebrating 50 years of the Clean Water Act" at the annual meeting on October 1.  This year we will be gathering at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial Street, Waterloo, Iowa.  Doors open at 10:30.  We will have a keynote speaker, followed by a great meal and a panel discussion.  photo

Water quality is one of the most important issues we face in Iowa.  We will be learning about the good, the bad, and the hopes for the future of Iowa's waters.  We are excited to present water quality experts for a stimulating discussion.  We hope you can join us on October 1, from 10:30 to 4:00.  The cost is $30 per person.  RSVP by September 20. 

Doors open at 10:30.  The program is:

11:00 - keynote by Jerry Anderson, Dean of the Drake Law School.  Jerry has taught environmental law at Drake and has also been involved in environmental law cases.

Noon - lunch by Catering by Dee

1:30 - panel discussion on water quality issues.  Panelists are:

Chris Jones - Chris is a research engineer at the University of Iowa.  His research interests include water quality and agriculture, water monitoring, and nutrient and sediment transport.

Silvia Secchi - Silvia is a professor in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at the University of Iowa.  Her research interests are environmental impacts of agriculture, water sustainability, floodplain policy, conservation policy, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, land use science, and integrated modeling.

Steve Veysey - Steve retired from his career as a chemist at Iowa State University.  Steve is an avid fisherman and a long-time advocate for clean water.  He has been involved in petitioning for anti-degradation rules, for water quality standards, and is currently working with Sierra Club in challenging the Supreme Beef permitting in Clayton County.

Matt Liebman - Matt is a professor emeritus of agriculture at Iowa State University and the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture.  His research, teaching, and outreach, activities focus on ways to improve environmental quality and agricultural productivity while reducing dependence on agrichemicals and fossil fuels.

Wally Taylor, moderator - Wally is an attorney practicing in Cedar Rapids.  He specializes in environmental law cases.


Please join us on October 1, from 10:30 to 4:00.  The cost is $30 per person.  RSVP by September 20 

For questions, contact or 515-277-8868.

Join us for interesting and informative webinars

Lunch and Learns

Every Friday at noon, we do a Lunch and Learn livestream.  See us on Facebook at "Sierra Club Iowa Chapter".  These will be recorded so you can watch them anytime.  Topics will be selected based on what is happening during the week and will be announced the day before the livestream.  During the legislative session, we cover issues coming before the Iowa legislature.

In case you missed our past webinars and lunch and learn sessions, you can still see them.

Volunteer for the Iowa Chapter

Almost everything we do is done by volunteers like you.  If you would like to volunteer for the Iowa Chapter, please let us know by sending an E-mail to  Or sign up by using the online form.  There are many opportunities for you to make a difference:

  • making phone callsphoto

  • developing graphics for banners and flyers

  • working on legislative issues

  • working on elections

  • fundraising

  • organizing events

  • joining an issue committee

If you would like to join a committee on the Peoples Budget, sign up here please fill out our People's Budget Volunteer Form so we can build our organizing team for this project.  A large number of Sierra Club issues require some involvement with Iowa's state budget. Budgets reflect theories of government. Iowa’s political conversation rarely moves beyond the notion that government’s primary responsibility is to grow the economy. Hence we give corporations tax breaks, but slash funding for health care, environmental protections and public interest research at our three state universities.  We hold a different view of government and that is government is the trustee of all the things we share - public roads and bridges, water, wildlife, air, public universities, state parks, education and public health.  Therefore, protecting, enhancing and restoring our shared public wealth is the central responsibility of government. We must tie the budget to our priorities. 

If you would like to join our legislative action team, sign up here.  Keep on top of what is happening at the Iowa legislature.  Be alerted when you should contact your legislators about pending legislation.


Contribute to the Iowa Chapter

Sierra Club - the best bet for achieving bold solutions to Iowa’s environmental problems

Sierra Club is Iowa’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization.  Not only that, we are the best bet in the state for achieving bold solutions to Iowa’s environmental

We work in the courts, before Iowa’s public agencies, and in the halls of the legislature.  The Iowa Chapter's effort to protect the environment takes financial support.  The Chapter receives very little financial support from the national Sierra Club.  Can we count on you for a donation to ensure even more victories?  Your contribution will be put to work here in Iowa on issues that affect every day Iowans – water quality, clean air, protection of Iowa's soil, parks and natural areas, and a strong democracy.  The Iowa Chapter is relentless in fighting back bad legislation that affects every one of us. 

Your non-deductible contributions make it possible for us to fight bad legislation and to promote good legislation.  We appreciate your past and on-going support of these efforts.  You can make a non-deductible donation with a credit card.   A non-deductible donation supports the Chapter's effective, citizen-based advocacy and lobbying programs.  If you prefer, a non-deductible check can be written to the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter and mailed to:

Sierra Club, Iowa Chapter
PO Box 1058
Marion, IA 52302

You can also make a tax-deductible donation with a credit card.  Tax-deductible activities are limited to public interest education, research and legal actions.  A deductible check can be written to the Sierra Club Foundation with “Iowa Chapter” written in the memo line.

Thank you for your support.

Donate your used vehiclegraphic

As the Sierra Club Foundation's Iowa Chapter continues to raise charitable funds to support its work in Iowa, won’t you consider participating in our vehicle donation program?  Our partners over at CARS have made the process of donating your unused or unneeded car, truck, motorcycle, boat or RV easy, efficient and secure.  They’ll take care of everything from picking up your vehicle to sending you a tax receipt for your generous gift.  To learn more about The Sierra Club Foundation's Iowa Chapter vehicle donation program, please call 844-674-3772.  Or visit our webpage to get started today!

Sierra Club Foundation promotes climate solutions, conservation, and movement building through a powerful combination of strategic philanthropy and grassroots advocacy. The Foundation is the fiscal sponsor of Sierra Club’s charitable environmental programs.

For more information 

Planned giving . . . naming the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter in your will 

Ensure your environmental legacy by naming the Iowa Chapter in your will or trust. These gifts cost you nothing now. You can hold onto your assets for as long as you need them.


Thank you for supporting our work!

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