Letter to the Editor

Readers Respond

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A private corporation, Dakota Access Limited Liability Corporation, now has the "power of eminent domain" over private property in Iowa.

Dakota Access LLC, Bakken Pipeline LLC and Energy Transfer Partners LP, have Limited Liability or Limited Partnership following their names. That means the company may or may not have any assets and therefore their liability is LIMITED. Dakota Access LLC testified at the Iowa Utilities Board hearing that it is a pass through entity with virtually no assets, i.e. "a paper sack."

Governor Terry Branstad, a proponent of the pipeline, picked the three IUB members. So after a lengthy and costly hearing plus months of deliberations it was no surprise to me, the IUB approved the pipeline permit.

Be it noted, the Pipeline has enormous high quality legal talent available and a very professional acquisition staff, a worthy opponent in our fight to protect our property rights.

It is interesting that Governor Branstad, the members of the Iowa House and Iowa Senate plus several large farm organizations have given little or no support to taxpaying landowners defending their property rights. All in the government referred to the three members of the IUB as having jurisdiction over permitting the pipeline. However, several legislators told me they were relieved that the IUB was going to "take the heat" as no matter what, the IUB's decision was going to be decided by the court system anyway.

Now the IUB is facing several actions and landowners are in eminent domain hearings. These issues are a judicial "hot potato" as each District Court Judge knows whatever his decision; it will be appealed to higher court.

Dakota Access LLC should not be surprised I am involved in several of these proceedings when about two years ago my attorney, Steve Hendricks of Rockwell City, sent two letters to Dakota Access LLC stating, "LaVerne Johnson does not want a pipeline on his property," which happens to be a Century Farm. My neighbors to the West, North and East have all give voluntary easements to the pipeline so the Pipeline has a path to bypass my property completely.

In summary, we landowners have come to a conclusion and it is so simple even I can understand it. We are joining together and proceeding up the legal chain to continue our fight, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.