The False Promise of Carbon Capture

Too much carbon dioxide in the air? Take it out.
Technology got us into this? Technology can get us out.

We think not. Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a false solution. It allows the fossil fuel industry to continue to profit at our expense. When you consider the additional energy required throughout the process, it’s clear that the technology – end to end – emits more carbon dioxide than it removes from the atmosphere, especially when used for “enhanced oil recovery” (EOR), and it is not profitable without subsidies.


IL House Committee Hearing

The Illinois House Public Utilities Committee held its joint hearing on proposed carbon capture-related bills Monday morning. WAND, a central Illinois media outlet, published this summary entitled Illinois lawmakers, advocates consider future of carbon capture storage.

IL House to consider future of Carbon Capture April 24

Please file a witness slip in support of HB3119 before 11AM on April 24. (Instructions below.)

The subject matter hearing on Carbon Capture (CCUS) that we have been waiting for will be this coming Monday, April 24. A joint meeting of the Illinois House Energy and Environment and Public Utilities committees starts at 11:00 a.m. CST. You can tune into the hearing at the Illinois General Assembly in a virtual hearing room TBA.

Supporters of HB3119, the Carbon Dioxide Transport and Storage Protections Act, will underscore key bill components:

  • shields the state from financial risk
  • protects landowners’ rights by eliminating eminent domain and forced acquisition of pore space (underground) rights
  • requires a life-cycle analysis, showing that a project is net-carbon negative
  • bans use of captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery
  • helps Illinois achieve its climate goals

You can download the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition’s Fact Sheet here.

To learn more, visit the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines here.

Please file a witness slip in SUPPORT of HB 3119 by clicking here.

Witness slip instructions

If you haven’t already, we suggest that you create an account so you can track and edit your slip if you make a mistake.

Complete the witness slip.

The link above takes you to the Public Utilities Committee hearing details page. To file a witness slip, click on the Create Witness Slip button in the committee meeting description.

  1. If you’ve created an account and signed in, Sections I & II below will be filled in automatically.

If you haven’t created an account:

  1. Identification = complete your info. For “Firm/Agency” just put “Self.”
  2. Representation = “Self.”
  3. POSITION = Several bills are included in this hearing. Please OPPOSE (Opponent) HB2202 and SUPPORT (Proponent) HB3119.
    • Select Subject Matter from the dropdown, then click the Position radio button.

You can submit your position on both bills at once by first completing your position on one bill, then click the Add Position button to complete the second.

  1. TESTIMONY = Record of Appearance ONLY
  2. Check the box at the bottom “I agree to the Terms of the Agreement.” (Not displayed if you’ve created an account)
  3. Click the “Create(Slip)” button.

CO2 Pipelines Proposed to Crisscross the Midwest

If Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator CO2 Ventures successfully construct their proposed projects, two multi-billion-dollar CO2 pipeline systems will crisscross multiple Midwestern states. In addition, Archer Daniels Midland recently announced plans to construct a pipeline to gather CO2 from plants in Iowa and sequester it in Illinois.

The business model is based on capturing CO2 generated from agricultural processes and storing it underground. Only carbon sequestration tax credits paid for by our tax dollars make this financially viable.[i]

The hurdles are considerable:

  • Only about 0.1 percent of current annual emissions is being captured and stored – a miniscule portion of the reductions required to meet the targets in the Paris Agreement.
  • Extracting CO2 directly from the atmosphere requires massive amounts of energy. As a result, the entire process generates more CO2 than it sequesters unless powered with renewable energy.
  • Government has spent over $5 billion on Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) projects to date. There are no success stories.
  • Much of CO2 currently captured is used for ‘enhanced oil recovery.” The additional oil extracted, when burned, creates three times as much CO2 as was sequestered.
  • Profitability depends on the federal Sequestration Tax Credit (often referred to as 45Q). Our tax dollars are providing corporate subsidies for an ineffective technology.
  • A CO2 pipeline explosion occurred in Satartia, MS in 2020. The local newspaper headlined: ‘Foaming at the mouth’: First responders describe scene after pipeline rupture, gas leak.[ii]  

Navigator CO2 Ventures announces carbon capture scheme

The Navigator CO2 pipeline, dubbed “Heartland Greenway,” will transport CO2 from ethanol plants across the Midwest. Injection wells will pump the CO2 underground in south central Illinois.

  • The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is the government agency that may grant eminent domain rights to Navigator CO2 Ventures to take property when the company is unable to negotiate an easement.  We have observed that they base their decision not on the needs of affected landowners or nearby communities, nor on the well-being of people across Illinois, but only on whether the proposed project seems economically viable; whether they have enough customers signed up to use their proposed pipeline.
  • Landowners pay the price in damage to agricultural land. Experience with DAPL shows the loss of productivity is greater than the compensation Navigator is proposing.
  • The threat to safety is clear.

[i] 2 carbon capture pipelines proposed in Iowa — here’s what we know, Short link:

[ii] ‘Foaming at the mouth’: First responders describe scene after pipeline rupture, gas leak, Short link:

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