The national advocacy group Food & Water Watch released a new analysis of the true cost of the three carbon capture pipelines proposed for the Midwest. According to the report, the three projects combined would receive $23 billion in federal tax credits over the next 12 years.
The group criticizes the proposed pipelines, saying local communities are left to “foot the bill should anything go wrong.”
“Carbon capture and its associated pipelines are designed to funnel wealth from communities to corporations… But Iowans see these schemes for what they are – greenwashing and corporate profiteering at our expense,” claims Emma Schmit, an organizer for the advocacy group Food & Water Watch.
Three companies – Summit Carbon Solution, Navigator CO2 Ventures, and Archer-Daniels-Midland are planning to construct underground pipelines that will capture and transport CO2 emissions from ethanol plants across several US states towards locations in North Dakota and Illinois for sequestration a mile below the ground.
There have been gatherings of landowners and public debates over the carbon capture initiatives, mainly expressing concerns about safety and risks regarding damages to land.
Summit Carbon Solutions promises compensation to landowners for any damage due to construction activities that would be in addition to and separate from any payments made for temporary and permanent easements.
The carbon capture pipeline would qualify for $50 of tax credit for every ton of carbon that it sequesters. Congress is considering increasing it to $85 a ton and making it payable directly to the companies that own the projects.
The Food & Water Watch is opposing that decision saying Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposal alone could cost taxpayers more than $7 billion which is almost twice the amount the company claims the project would invest in the region.
“Regular people have already paid through the nose for carbon capture, only to watch the flawed technology fail time and time again. We refuse to also offer up our land, communities, health and safety so that corporations like Summit can make a quick buck,” responds the group.
On the other hand, Summit claims the project would be beneficial to the communities, creating thousands of construction jobs, generating local property tax revenue and providing opportunities for rural suppliers.
The Texas-based Navigator CO2 Ventures also says its $3 billion project could sequester up to 15 million tons of CO2 annually in Illinois and reduce the carbon footprint of ethanol produced from plants using the technology.
The analysis conveys the high costs related to capturing and storing CO2 emissions from industrial sites and questions the integrity of such initiatives. Carbon capture technologies have been criticized for their hefty costs and lack of efficiency, however, a network of carbon capture pipelines is also considered essential for lowering the price of the technology and increasing its widespread adoption.