Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Former Iowa Lawmaker to Begin 400-mile Walk in Lee County

Former Iowa State Rep. Ed Fallon will begin his 32-day, 400-mile walk along the length of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline in Keokuk on the morning of Monday, March 2nd. The exact time and location will be announced later. Fallon’s route will take him north along the Mississippi River to Montrose, then through New Boston and Donnellson, veering northeast and crossing into Van Buren County south of Houghton on March 4. Fallon will walk an average of 15 miles each day. He is working with pipeline opponents in Lee County to set up a public meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd (time and location TBD) to listen to area residents’ concerns about the proposed pipeline. Fallon will share his own concerns about climate change, water quality, private property rights and the what he sees as the often heavy-handed use of eminent domain.


Ed Fallon at the Ritua Cafe (Photo by Bigfoot Diaries)
As a lawmaker, Fallon floor managed a key bill on eminent domain in 2000, and was involved in helping to craft the eminent domain laws that passed in 1999 and 2006. From 1998-2004, both as  a lawmaker and as director of 1000 Friends of Iowa, Fallon traveled the state working with dozens of communities opposed to what many saw as the misuse of eminent domain.

“We won a majority of those battles,” recalled Fallon. “I saw how deeply Iowans valued their land and their quality of life. And when pushed by a developer who sought to take their property for the private gain of someone else, people banded together and fought and won. I doubt that has changed much in the past decade, and I am optimistic that the Texas corporation that wants this pipeline can be stopped.”

Fallon believes his lengthy experience preventing the abuse of eminent domain could be helpful to landowners opposed to the Bakken Oil Pipeline. But he feels strongly that climate change must be part of the conversation as well.

“We have to grasp the seriousness of the climate crisis,” said Fallon. “While this pipeline is wrong because government shouldn’t take people’s land so an oil company can get rich, it’s also wrong because it deepens our dependence on fossil fuels and slows the expansion of renewable energy. And renewable energy is doing a lot more for Iowa’s economy than oil ever will.”

Fallon commences his walk on March 2nd, one year and one day after the March 1st, 2014 start of the Great March for Climate Action. Fallon initiated that March and walked every step of the eight-month, 3,000-mile trek. Fallon served in the Iowa House for 14 years before running for governor (2006) and US Congress (2008). Since 2009, he has hosted the Fallon Forum, a talk show available online and on three Iowa radio stations: KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines), KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) and KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville).

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