With carbon capture projects lined up across Nebraska, landowners are seeking additional state protections in the event of abandoned CO2 pipelines.
Carbon capture and sequestration projects, together with the carbon pipelines that would feed them, have been a matter of significant controversy over the past year or so.
Recently, a Wall Street Journal article, for example, addressed concerns about whether or not such projects can, in fact, be executed successfully.
And one of the latest legislative proposals designed to handle such concerns is Legislative Bill 1186 that was discussed at a public hearing last month.
According to the bill, carbon pipeline companies would be obligated to dispose of abandoned pipes and local property owners would be allowed to reclaime easements across their land.
Furthermore, the bill would also see to it that pipeline companies set up a reclamation fund that would finance the removal of any pipes.
Some of these protections have already been adopted by other states, where the proposed CO2 pipelines are set to pass, such as Minnesota and Iowa.
Canada has also passed a bill that requires pipeline firms to pay for pipe removals by contributing to specialized funds.
The environmental group Bold Alliance, which also includes Bold Nebraska, advocated for the bill by saying the landowners are best positioned to control what happens after the CO2 pipelines are inevitably abandoned.
The other side of the fence of Nebraska CO2 pipelines
On the opposing side, however, the Nebraska Farm Bureau and Nebraska Ethanol Board have spoken out against the bill, saying it would likely be harmful to the state’s ethanol industry.
Nebraska is the country’s second largest ethanol producer and by capturing and storing its carbon emissions, the industry is looking to produce greener, more environmentally friendly ethanol.
This would make the state’s production more competitive and would boost sales in states with higher demand for green products, such as Oregon and California.
Without carbon capture and the CO2 pipelines associated with it, the ethanol industry risks becoming irrelevant as the global energy transition advances.