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Along the Route: A Pipeline Discussion (KMEG / Siouxland News)

By Emma Schmit

News, Videos May 15, 2023

The case for both support and opposition to hazardous carbon pipelines has been put forth in a multi-part series of reports by Siouxland News. Anchor Katie Copple met with a variety of stakeholders, from impacted landowners to the manager of an ethanol plant intending to capture carbon for the proposed Summit carbon pipeline. You can watch the full series below.

Along the Route: A closer look at three liquid carbon capture pipelines


“Our legislature should be standing up. Our county governments need to stand up,” said Doyle Turner, another Iowan fighting against the installation of these pipelines. “But the big thing that we need is for more people to realize this affects a lot more people than just these landowners and that we all need to be stepping up.”

Along the Route: Pipelines seek land rights through easement agreements


“The easements are permanent easements,” said Jodie Wilson, who is fighting for her mother’s rights as a property owner. “They are just not for the project. They get done with it after they’ve collected all of their tax credits, they could sell it to another company and we have no say about it and we just have to live with it.”

Along the Route: Northwest Iowa farmer ready for partnership with carbon pipelines


“[Kelly Nieuwenhuis has] been part of the biofuels industry for years and has watched it grow and evolve with a changing market. “I’ve been involved in the biofuels industry for 20 years,” he told me on a visit to his farm. “And the last 10 years I’ve been involved in the industry and definitely focused on carbon in tax reductions or carbon intensity reductions.”

Along the Route: The fight over eminent domain and the right to private land


“Eminent domain was put into effect for the good of the public,” said Roger Schmid, a landowner in Woodbury Co. Iowa. “And I don’t see this, it’s not a commodity that’s going to be used by anybody. It’s strictly a private corporation in it for the money to take the carbon credits from the government.”

Along the Route: Pipeline safety at forefront of concerns for landowners


“You look at it, they are placing a large burden on first responders that I don’t think that they’re going to meet,” said Stee Maxwell, another concerned landowner in the pipeline path. “So you can promise a lot of stuff. Are they actually going to come through? That’s the question. That’s very, very doubtful.”

Along the Route: Health impact of carbon dioxide poisoning


“We have a statement from one of (the pipeline) agents that they are going to train our local fire department and furnish them the equipment,” said Jim Colyer, a Woodbury County resident fighting against the pipelines, “but who’s going to give them electric fire trucks and electric rescue equipment? Because we all know that our combustion engines need oxygen to run and this plume displaces all of the oxygen.”

Along the Route: Lincolnway Energy ready for partnership with Summit Carbon Solutions


“‘What we’re hoping for, what I’m hoping for, and what drives me every day is, this is another piece of revenue, another piece of strength for the balance sheet for US agriculture,’ said Summit CEO, Lee Blank.”

Along the Route: Is carbon capture the next step in ethanol innovation?


“As Nieuwenhuis says, the carbon commodity is here to stay. ‘If you’ve noticed over the last five to 10 years, carbon became a commodity. And we’re not talking only about carbon intensities, but carbon credits, and it’s not going away.'”

Along the Route: Tax credits, the carbon economy, and proper underground storage


“While government tax credits for carbon sequestration began in 2008, the Net Zero Act and CCUS significantly boost those tax credits for these companies, offering a larger incentive to get these projects in the ground.”

Along the Route: Impact of pipeline installation on regional farmland


“If you tend to be on the best-case scenario, you’re better off than the vast majority of your neighbors, you might only see an 8-10% drop in productivity. You will see some level of drop just simply due to the disturbance. If you’re worse off, the context of the field made it of higher risk for yield loss. You could see up to 50-60% crop yield loss.”

Along the Route: Land impact of a carbon pipeline rupture


“I would recommend to landowners if there was ever a break on the property is that in the site investigation afterward to see what the disturbed area or contaminated area is, to not look just where the extent of the carbon entered into the ground, but also a little bit beyond it. You know, give it another 20, 30, 40 feet worth of sampling, because whatever was in the zone that the carbon moves through, whatever it stripped out, it’s going to deposit wherever it’s stopped moving at,” Daigh said.”

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