(Des Moines) – This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is holding meetings to educate the public about a project underground pipeline, which would carry the carbon emissions for sequestration.
Proponents have argued that it can help reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere, while conservationists have countered that the risks outweigh the proposed benefits.
The line, which would run through 30 counties in Iowa, would feed a larger underground system delivering carbon dioxide captured at biofuel plants to North Dakota, where it would be stored.
Carolyn Raffensperger, of the Science and Environmental Health Network, said that while this sounds like a noble idea, it is counterproductive.
âIt takes so much more energy to collect CO2 from an ethanol plant, for example, that you will increase carbon dioxide emissions simply by the increased need for electricity,â Raffensperger said.
And if there is a leak, she stressed, there could be serious health risks with the transport and storage of carbon dioxide, which could also be compressed into liquid form for renewable fuels.
Summit Carbon, the company behind the project, said the construction and operations would create jobs, but opponents said companies are getting federal tax breaks at public expense. The hearings for affected counties started this month and will run until mid-October.
As the company insists the storage will be safe and secure, Raffensperger, who is based in Iowa, stressed that landowners near the proposed route should know that it would be classified as a liquid pipeline. dangerous. She added that there are better ways to spend resources on tackling harmful emissions.
“It’s a solution for the fossil fuel industry to continue doing business as usual,” Raffensperger noted.
Instead, she urged policymakers to focus on expanding clean energy projects, such as wind and solar power, while strengthening infrastructure to improve water quality. His group says there would be just as many job opportunities with such investments.
During this time, public comments can be submitted to the Iowa Utilities Board online or by mail.