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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