Summit Carbon Solutions has announced property owners have given voluntary access to land along two-thirds of the proposed route of its carbon pipeline. According to a news release from the company, more than a thousand landowners have signed contracts to let the pipeline cross through their properties. Summit plans to collect carbon from ethanol plants and transport it through a pipeline to underground storage in North Dakota. Summit’s pipeline would link to a dozen Iowa ethanol plants and cover nearly 700 miles of ground in Iowa. This includes plants in Merrill, Sioux Center, Marcus. and Galva. Two other companies are seeking voluntary easements from Iowa property owners for carbon pipelines. The Navigator pipeline would start in Illinois and extend 900 miles through Iowa. The Wolf pipeline would start in Cedar Rapids and end 350 miles later in Decatur, Illinois.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY CAUCUSES
Newly-elected Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart says there’s still a chance national party leaders will relent and let the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucuses go first in the 2024 presidential election.
This weekend, the Democratic National Committee is scheduled to vote on a 2024 presidential campaign schedule that would prohibit Iowa Democrats from having Caucuses before any other state holds a Democratic primary.
Hart was elected party chair a week ago Saturday.
Hart, who grew up on a farm near Charles City, says her goal is to put her party’s Caucuses in the best position possible.
President Biden prefers that South Carolina be the first caucus state. He won that caucus two years ago, while placing fourth in Iowa.
Republicans on the House Education Committee have voted to require Iowa’s three public universities to explain terms and concepts used in courses taken by students who plan to be teachers. If the bill is approved by both the House and Senate, the report would be due at the end of this month. Representative Skyler Wheeler of Hull says he can’t wait to see an explanation of what anti-racist and anti-oppressive teaching is. The bill also calls for a new legislative committee to be established this summer to review the reports from the Colleges of Education at Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I. Democrats opposed the bill and accused Republicans of conducting a witch hunt against teachers and professors. Republican Representative Steven Holt of Denison says college students complain to him they’re being indoctrinated with liberal ideology at the state universities.
12th STREET CROSSING REPAIRS
A Le Mars intersection, closed to motor vehicle traffic since November, will soon be repaired. Le Mars Street Supervisor Scott Kneip said Thursday he was notified by the railroad that they now have the parts needed to repair the crossing at 12th Street SW. They will send a repair crew to Le Mars next week Wednesday. It will take a day or two to complete the needed repairs. Last November, a truck, turning into the crossing from Hawkeye Avenue, damaged one of the signal lights at the crossing. The crossing has been closed ever since. The railroad says this was not a standard railroad crossing, and they did had to order the parts needed to make repairs. The closed crossing has disrupted vehicle traffic in that part of Le Mars. Crossings have to be made at 6th St SW and 18th St SW.
January is usually the coldest and driest month of the year, but State Climatologist Justin Glisan says the numbers went against the averages this year.
January also saw more rain and snow than normal.
He says half the state saw more snowfall than normal.
The severe weather in January was not limited to snow and blizzards, as two tornadoes touched down in eastern Iowa.
The tornadoes were rare and record-breaking.
Glisan says the early short-term outlook for February is slightly warmer and wetter.
MAILING ABORTION PILLS
Iowa’s attorney general has signaled she would likely join a multi-state lawsuit if major pharmacy chains start selling abortion pills by mail. Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird has not issued a written statement of her own, but has added her signature to letters from attorneys general in Missouri and Alabama. One of the letters Bird and 19 other Republicans signed says as state attorneys general, it is their responsibility to protect the health, safety, and well-being of women and unborn children in their states. The letters to Walgreens and C-V-S come after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced women seeking abortion pills could get them through the mail. A bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would ban sending abortion pills through the mail in Iowa.
FLOOD PREDICTION RESEARCH
The University of Iowa is launching a new research center to improve flood prediction. Engineering professor Ibrahim Demir (EE-brah-heem DEE-mear) says the country has a lot to learn from Iowa, as he says the U-I stands out for its emphasis on projects that help residents better understand their flood risk locally. As an example, The Iowa Flood Information System, or IFIS (EYE-fis), can be used by homebuyers to better understand a properties potential for flood damage. The Center for Hydrologic Development joins a cooperative of other research institutes sharing approaches like this with its peer institutions. Iowa will receive 21-million dollars from the collaborative.