Ramaswamy stumps in Fort Dodge
Becomes the youngest candidate to enter presidential race to date
An Ohio businessman vying for the Republican nomination in the next presidential election said he is against the use of eminent domain following a campaign stop in Fort Dodge on Saturday.
At just 38 years old, Vivek Ramaswamy is the youngest candidate to enter the race thus far. He’s the founder and former CEO of Roivant Sciences pharmaceutical company and former executive chairman of Strive Asset Management. The latest Iowa State University/Civiqs poll of likely caucus attendees has former President Donald Trump leading the Republican race with 51%, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 14%, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 10% and Ramaswamy at 9%.
On Saturday, he stopped for a campaign breakfast rally at Iowa Central Community College before heading to Ames, where he was scheduled to attend a tailgate event hosted by Summit Agricultural Group, which owns Summit Carbon Solutions LLC, the developer of one of the proposed liquid carbon dioxide pipelines that would run through Webster County if built.
The proposed Summit pipeline would take liquidized carbon dioxide output from ethanol manufacturing and transport it to North Dakota to be sequestered underground.
For the last several weeks, the Iowa Utilities Board has held an evidentiary hearing for Summit’s permit application to construct the hazardous liquid pipeline and request to use eminent domain to obtain forced easements from unwilling landowners.
If granted, Summit could use eminent domain to seize involuntary easements for nearly 1,000 parcels of land along the proposed pipeline route.
The hearing is expected to last at least another month.
“I’m against eminent domain,” Ramaswamy told The Messenger after Saturday’s breakfast. “I think the climate change agenda is a hoax. I blame the federal government — that’s what I’m going to fix.”
Ramaswamy said he doesn’t blame business leaders — naming Elon Musk, owner of electric vehicle company Tesla — for accepting incentives created by the government because “that’s just what market actors do.”
“What we require is real leaders that go in and change the fraudulent premises that our government policies are based on,” he said. “And I’m the only candidate in the Republican Party who has actually had the spine to say that about the climate change agenda.”
According to the schedule sent out by the Ramaswamy campaign, he was set to attend a tailgate for the Iowa at Iowa State football game hosted by Summit Agricultural Group in Ames on Saturday afternoon. The Messenger asked if he planned to tell any Summit execs how he feels about eminent domain.
“I’ve told everybody my views. I say the same thing to everybody — behind closed doors, one-on-one or anything else,” he said, though he did not say if he intended to say anything at the Summit tailgate.
“The whole anti-carbon agenda is based on false premises,” Ramaswamy said. “… As a personal pro-liberty person, I’m against eminent domain.”
The candidate said he’s not concerned about whether Iowa’s ethanol industry would be negatively impacted if the liquid carbon dioxide pipeline is not approved. According to the Iowa Corn Growers Association, 57% of the corn grown in Iowa is used in ethanol production.
“You can have ethanol without capturing the carbon,” he said.