The carbon capture project in Iceland. Looks cool, anyway (
by Dan Burns
Dec 9, 2022, 9:30 AM

“Carbon capture” boondoggle in Minnesota, bit by bit

The idea behind carbon capture is that you pump carbon underground, and it turns into rocks, and, poof! climate change is solved. OK, its proponents don’t really think we’re that naive. They generally try to sell it as “part of the solution,” or something like that. Anyway:

Summit Carbon Solutions is partnering with more than 30 ethanol plants across a five-state region. Located in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, this meaningful investment in the future of agriculture will capture carbon dioxide from the fermentation process of biorefineries such as ethanol plants, compress the captured CO2, and channel it to North Dakota where it will be permanently and safely stored underground in deep geologic storage locations.
(Summit Carbon Solutions)

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission determined that the pipeline does need to be permitted. But just what is meant by “permitted” is still an open question.

So far, Summit has only filed for a permit for the section of pipeline that would connect that plant to a larger pipeline in North Dakota. That 18-mile section of pipeline crosses through two Minnesota counties, Otter Tail and Wilkin, but Peg Furshong of CURE says the state needs to consider the impact of the entire project in Minnesota, even if a permit application only exists for a portion of it.

“This is clearly just a portion of the project, whether they’ve only permitted a portion is not the issue. The PUC would be be naive … to think that the footprint of the project is not bigger. So they should do environmental review for the entire project,” Furshong said in an interview…

Devin Mogler, a vice president for Green Plains, in a letter submitted as a public comment to the PUC docket that includes the pipeline permit application, said “it is critical that we take the steps necessary to ensure the ethanol and agricultural industries remain competitive not just today but in the years and decades to come.”

The letter also says “Specifically, we believe that the environmental review of the project should follow Minnesota Chapter 216G.” Following that process would not require an environmental assessment.

CURE is a most cool and righteous environmental and rural empowerment group. Green Plains is an ethanol plant in Fergus Falls.

My opinion of everything about ethanol fuel is no secret. What’s important is not that it’s my opinion, but that it’s an opinion that is widely shared, because it’s backed by facts, and rational, knowledgeable deductions from those facts. Unlike the industry BS.

Here’s a fact sheet about carbon capture, from Food & Water Watch. There’s a demonstration project in Iceland. As a washed-up former civil engineer I’m sure I’d be fascinated, looking around the place. But the cost/benefit doesn’t remotely add up.

Comment from Mike: Several YouTubers have looked at the science of carbon capture. It works. Expensively. On a tiny scale.

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