Iowa Supreme Court Opinions Expected to be filed on May 31, 2019

The Iowa Supreme Court ruling we’ve long-expected will likely be issued tomorrow, Friday, May 31. The case is titled “Puntenney v. Iowa Utils. Bd.,” and the Court’s decision will be viewable online at this link. Kudos to the landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club for investing so much time and money in pursuing the case. Their persistence and dedication is for all of us.
We have no idea whether the Court will rule in our favor or against us, nor can we predict what nuances might be involved in the ruling. Either way, there will be a response. Stay tuned.

Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa

17–0423 Puntenney v. Iowa Utils. Bd.
The district court denied petitions for judicial review of the Iowa Utilities Board’s (IUB) decision to grant a permit to Dakota Access, LLC, for the construction of a hazardous liquid pipeline pursuant to Iowa Code ch. 479B. On appeal, the petitioners argue the district court erred in affording the IUB the authority to define the term “public convenience and necessity” under Iowa Code § 479B.9 and in affirming the IUB’s determination that the pipeline would promote public convenience and necessity. The appellants further argue Dakota Access’s exercise of eminent domain violated the Iowa and United States Constitutions, as well as Iowa Code §§ 6A.21 and 6A.22. The appellants further argue the district court and the IUB erred in denying the claims of two landowners that the pipeline should be rerouted to avoid their properties.

Iowa Judicial Branch

First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March press release

The following press release publicized the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, and described that it was to raise awareness about this lawsuit, which was heard by the Iowa Supreme Court on September 12, the week following the completionof the March.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 9:00 a.m. CT

Groups announce First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March
Natives, farmers, environmentalists to walk 90 miles following DAPL route

Indigenous Iowa and Bold Iowa today announced that thirty opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline will march ninety miles from Des Moines to Fort Dodge to raise awareness about the landowner/Sierra Club lawsuit, which will be heard by the Iowa Supreme Court on September 12.

The March kicks off on Saturday, September 1 at 9:00 a.m. with a press conference at the Iowa Utilities Board (1375 E. Court Ave, Des Moines). Marchers will then trek thirteen miles to camp at the Griffieon Family Farm (11655 NE 6th St, Ankeny). The March will finish in Fort Dodge on Saturday, September 8 with a rally and celebration at City Square Park, 424 Central Ave, at 2:00 p.m.

“The First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March was initiated to support the landowner/Sierra Club lawsuit against the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Bold Iowa director, Ed Fallon. “Through this huge challenge of walking ninety miles, we hope to raise awareness about how this historic lawsuit potentially impacts all of us regarding our land, water, climate, and property rights. If landowners prevail, it could stop the oil from flowing through Iowa. If they lose, it could blow eminent domain wide open for all sorts of private purposes.”

First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March-Public Utilities Board Press Conference

September 1, 2018.  After a night of thunderstorms, we took down our tents in wind and rain, and loaded our duffle bags into the gear truck.

We then carpooled to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for a press conference to announce the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March.  One of the primary goals of the March is to call attention to the IUB’s improper approval of eminent domain to force Iowa landowners to allow construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on their property. The lawsuit by the Sierra Club and landowners against the IUB will be heard in the Iowa Supreme Court September 12.

A reporter for the Des Moines Register was at this press conference, and also came to Birdland Park for the beginning of the March. Here is a link to the Register’s story:

Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa
Regina Tsosie sings

On September 12, 2018, Iowa land owners and the Sierra Club’s oral arguments in the case against the Iowa Public Utilities Board were heard before the Iowa Supreme Court. The landowners and Sierra Club contend that the Public Utilities Board improperly allowed Energy Transfer Partners to use eminent domain to force Iowa landowners to let the Dakota Access Pipeline to be constructed on their land.

One of the main objectives of the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March was to call attention to this court case.  We had a large banner saying Stop Eminent Domain Abuse with us on the March.

As some people that I know left the Court, they told me the justices seemed pretty well informed about the issues. The Court’s decision may not come for weeks or months. It is unclear what will happen if the Court decides for the landowners. I was very glad to see quite a few of my fellow Marchers at the Court that morning.

This entry was posted in #NDAPL, climate change, First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, Indigenous, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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