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Newscast 09.11.23: South Dakota denies Summit CO2 pipeline application; Iowa drought drags on; Defending indigent defendants in Iowa

U.S. Drought Monitor
The proposed Summit CO2 pipeline footprint
The proposed Summit CO2 pipeline footprint

South Dakota regulators yesterday rejected Summit Carbon Solutions’ application to build a carbon capture pipeline through that state.

It’s part of the same pipeline system that would run nearly 700 miles across Iowa.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission denied Summit’s permit because the company’s proposed route would violate some counties’ rules for setbacks from homes and other structures.

The commission says Summit could renew its application once it has resolved the conflict with the counties. The Summit project has now been denied on its first applications in both North and South Dakota. The final hearing for the pipeline before the Iowa Utilities Board continues tomorrow (Tuesday) in Fort Dodge.
A separate hearing on Navigator's application in Iowa is pending.

The rain that fell overnight was welcome for a lot of people in Iowa, but the state’s climatologist says it won’t do much to alleviate the current drought. Justin Glisan says most of northeast Iowa is in extreme drought, and has gotten six-to-eight inches of rain below average over the last several months.

“So you would need several months, if not more than a year of above-average precipitation to really extinguish the more intense and longer-term drought conditions that we’ve seen across the state.”

The latest U-S Drought Monitor report says 91-percent of Iowa is in moderate-to-extreme drought

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented today on the latest Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report.

Naig says although areas of Iowa received some rain over the weekend, persistent dryness and expanding drought continue to dominate. He added that Hot temperatures and a lack of rain have produced varying crop conditions, which may lead some farmers in pockets of the state to start harvesting earlier than usual.”

Fewer Iowa attorneys are willing to take court appointments to defend indigent clients. According to State statistics, less than 13 percent of Iowa lawyers are willing to take on these cases.

Orange City attorney Michael Jacobsma serves as a contract attorney several times each year in the Third Judicial District, defending clients in several different counties. He says the process of finding and appointing an attorney, especially for a difficult case, can be lengthy.

“And in that county if there is not many attorneys that take appointments, and if the other attorneys who do take those kind of cases either have some conflict or can’t do it for some reason, then yeah, then it’s up to court to try and find an attorney for them.”

Jacobsma says the delay in finding a contract attorney can mean a longer time in jail for some defendants.

“I haven’t seen it a lot where somebody has just sat there in jail for months without an attorney, I haven’t seen that happen very much, but I have seen cases where people will wait weeks before they even get appointed a lawyer.”

Jacobsma says the low pay for court appointed attorneys also makes it harder to engage them.
Iowa court appointed attorneys are 83 dollars per hour to defend a first-class felony case, the costs can be up to 87 dollars per hour, basically, meaning attorneys do not profit from this work.
In January, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen asked state lawmakers to raise the pay and reimbursement rates for court appointed attorneys.

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