Description: Challenge Iowa Utilities Board approval of the Dakota Pipeline project and related use of eminent domain.
Puntenney v. Iowa Utilities Board
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/31/2019 Opinion Download Court affirmed denial of petition for judicial review of Utilities Board decision. Iowa Supreme Court Upheld State Utilities Board’s Approval of Dakota Pipeline. The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the Iowa Utilities Board’s approval of the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and use of eminent domain for easements for the pipeline. Among the arguments rejected by the court was the petitioners’ contention that the pipeline did not meet the constitutional definition of “public use” under the Iowa Constitution and the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The court recognized that “a serious and warranted concern about climate change underlies some of the opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline” and that as a matter of policy a carbon tax might be appropriate to force all players in the marketplace “to bear the true cost of their carbon emissions.” However, the court determined that “policy making is not our function, and as a legal matter we are satisfied that the Dakota Access pipeline meets the characteristics of a public use under the Iowa and United States Constitutions.”