Analysis shows Midwest carbon pipelines could cost taxpayers more than $20 billion

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For Immediate Release

Today, national advocacy group Food & Water Watch released a new analysis of the true cost of the three proposed Midwest carbon pipelines, finding that federal taxpayers could waste over $20 billion on these projects over the next 12 years. Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposal alone could cost taxpayers more than $7 billion — nearly double what the company claims its project will invest in the region.

Carbon capture systems and the dangerous pipelines that feed them are supported by public funds. A single federal tax credit called Section 45Q could direct Summit, Navigator and Wolf/ADM nearly $2 billion a year to capture carbon from ethanol plants to feed their pipeline projects. The companies could earn $23 billion over the 12 years that the projects can benefit from the Section 45Q loan.

Meanwhile, the federal government is just doubling funding for carbon capture, despite a poor track record. Since 2010, the federal government has committed more than $8 billion to carbon capture projects through direct funding and tax credits, but most federally funded projects have failed. Despite this, lawmakers approved a record $12.2 billion in federal funds to fund carbon capture projects last year alone.

While federal funding supports these projects, it leaves local communities to foot the bill should anything go wrong. Property owners whose property is affected by the construction of coal pipelines face high costs from the aftermath of pipeline damage. In the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline, some landowners reported over $100,000 in farmland repairs for a single property.

To date, hundreds of Iowans have made public comments against the costly and dangerous Summit carbon pipeline, the first proposed for the state and the first to receive approval from the Iowa Utilities Board. In a March 8 review, 98.9 percent of submitted comments opposed it.

Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit gave the following answer:

“Carbon capture and associated pipelines are designed to channel wealth from communities to corporations. But Iowa residents see these plans for what they are — greenwashing and corporate profits at our expense — and we are uniting to prevent these projects from taking root.

“Ordinary people have already paid for CO2 capture through their noses only to see the flawed technology fail again and again. We refuse to also offer our land, our communities, health and safety so that companies like Summit can make a quick buck. Gov. Reynolds must ensure that companies cannot use premier lands to steal Iowa land for these projects, and direct her Iowa Utilities Board to end Iowa’s carbon pipelines once and for all.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

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