Carbon pipeline opposition

WOW. This is the front page of today’s Des Moines Register and part of that story can be found below.

After years of resisting pipelines, beginning in 2013 with the Keystone Pledge of Resistance, I am cautiously optimistic we might stop these carbon pipelines. Clearly there is much more attention paid to, and resistance from large numbers of people. Landowners suffered in many ways from being forced by the abuse of eminent domain for construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Now they know and won’t easily allow this to happen again.

There are a lot of pieces to learn about these new concepts, including different ways the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is captured is used. My friends Rodger Ruth and Mahmud Fitil have an excellent discussion about these pipelines in the video at the end of this.

One of the unique and extreme dangers of these new CO2 pipelines is what happens when the CO2 leaks. The carbon in these pipelines is under high pressure. When there is a rupture there is an explosion and then the rapid release of vast amounts of carbon dioxide, which displaces oxygen in the air. People and other living beings immediately become disorientated. Nonelectric vehicles stop working because there is not enough oxygen to burn the gas in the engines. The deaths of large numbers of people could occur if such a rupture happened in a highly populated area. First responders become disoriented as well. This video is about a carbon explosion that occurred in Satartia, Mississippi, in 2020.

Sequestration (CCS) involves shipping the captured carbon, hence the need for the pipelines, to areas where there are rock formations to inject the carbon into. This is an unproven idea and many of us are skeptical that carbon won’t escape.

Even worse is the use of recovering fuel by injecting the carbon into diffuse pockets underground, to force the oil to the surface the same way water is injected for fracking.

It really is tortured logic to say CO2 is being removed from the atmosphere to decrease greenhouse gas concentrations, and then use that CO2 to extract more oil to burn, adding MORE greenhouse gases.

Many groups of my friends are working to stop these pipelines, including the Great Plains Action Society and Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Other articles I’ve written

One part of this resistance is to challenge the abuse of eminent domain to force landowners to allow pipeline construction.

Following are some photos from various events to call attention to carbon pipelines and why they should not be built.

These are from an event by my friends Sikowis Nobiss and Mahmud Fitil at the headquarters of Summit Carbon Solutions in Ames, Iowa, one of the companies involved in CO2 pipeline construction.

Yesterday some people from the Catholic Worker House(s) held this banner and talked with people at the Iowa State Capitol.

The first carbon capture pipeline proposal to make its way to Iowa regulators is drawing more early opposition in the state than the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, which grabbed national attention in 2016 and 2017, when Hollywood stars joined Native Americans in monthslong protests.

So far, Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposal to build a $4.5 billion carbon capture pipeline in Iowa has drawn 750 comments, according to Don Tormey, the Iowa Utilities Board spokesman.  The comments — mostly in opposition — are double the number the Dakota Access project had received roughly a month after filing its permit request with state regulators in 2015, a Des Moines Register review shows. 

And opposition is growing. Organizers say hundreds of Iowa landowners are banding together to fight Summit’s project and two other carbon capture pipeline proposals. They’re refusing to sell easements for the pipelines and pledging to battle the companies in court, if necessary.

Dubbed the Iowa Easement Team, the group says it has hired Domina Law, a Nebraska firm that helped stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported Canadian crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas. It declined to say exactly how many Iowa landowners are part of the effort.

“I’ve been kind of amazed at the amount of resistance we’ve seen to these projects” so early in the process, said Wally Taylor, an attorney for the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, which challenged Dakota Access and opposes the more recent carbon capture projects.

In the submitted comments, farmers, landowners and county and state officials are challenging Summit’s likely use of eminent domain to force unwilling landowners to sell access for the 680-mile pipeline, which would cross 29 Iowa counties. Fifteen county boards of supervisors have filed statements of opposition to the use of eminent domain.

“These are Republican Trump voters, and they’re just mad about these pipelines,” Taylor said.

First month of Summit carbon capture pipeline comments exceed those on Dakota Access. Here’s what’s next. By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register, 2/22/2022

2 thoughts on “Carbon pipeline opposition

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