Midwest Ag Future
What You Need to Know About Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in North Dakota2023-05-26T11:04:44-05:00

What You Need to Know About Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in North Dakota

About CO2 Pipelines in North Dakota

  • There are currently 205 Miles of CO2 pipelines in North Dakota
  • CO2 pipelines have been safely operating in ND for 50 years

CO2 Pipeline Facts

  • These projects utilize long-standing, proven, and reliable technologies that are safe for landowners and the communities they travel through
  • Carbon capture technology is currently in use at more than 40 ethanol plants across the United States with more than 5,000 miles of CO2 pipelines in the United States. All of these are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation with zero fatalities associated with CO2 pipelines over the past 20 years.
  • Unlike many other gases or substances that are transported by pipelines, the compressed CO2 is not flammable or explosive when mixed with air, making it a safer substance to transport.
  • This process has been done, and done safely, for over 50 years to date.
    • Oil and gas were similarly stored underground naturally, and the rocks used to to store CO2 are the same as those that naturally housed fossil fuels for millions of years.

About The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Like all large-scale infrastructure projects, pipelines are heavily regulated at both the state and federal levels. There are rules and agencies working to ensure that carbon capture, transportation and storage projects are safe and accountable.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is part of the United States Department of Transportation. PHMSA’s Office of Pipeline Safety ensures “the safe, reliable, and environmentally-sound operation of the nation’s natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline transportation system.”

PHMSA’s mission is to “protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives.” It “establishes national policy, sets and enforces standards, educates, and conducts research to prevent incidents.”

PHMSA regulates America’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the “nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.”

As part of its regulatory system, PHMSA ensures that pipeline systems are safe and secure. This includes the strict regulation of carbon capture pipelines that employ tested technology to transport and store carbon dioxide emissions underground safely. 

For more information about the Summit Carbon Solutions Project, click here.

About Carbon Capture, Transportation, and Storage Projects

Why is capturing, transporting, and storing carbon safe?2024-03-18T14:00:21-05:00
  • Carbon capture systems are governed by regulatory agencies and experts. Where the projects go, how they are planned, and how they operate are subject to stringent government regulations and are constantly reviewed and monitored.
  • CO2 pipelines are equipped with built-in sensors that continuously monitor pressure and other conditions within the pipe. If they sense any condition that might suggest an integrity issue, they automatically stop the pipeline’s operation until crews can check to make sure the system is operating as designed or make any necessary repairs.
  • The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is part of the United States Department of Transportation and ensures “the safe, reliable, and environmentally-sound operation of the nation’s natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline transportation system.” PHMSA regulations are designed to ensure safe operation of CO2 pipelines.
  • PHMSA regulates America’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the “nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.”
  • As part of its regulatory system, PHMSA makes certain that pipeline systems are safe and secure. This includes the strict regulation of carbon dioxide pipelines that employ tested technology to safely transport and store CO2 emissions underground.
  • Through a variety of technologies, there has been successful monitoring of every CO2 storage site through its entire lifecycle of capturing to post-injection to ensure the CO2 remains permanently sequestered.
  • The Safe Drinking Water Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Underground Injection Control Program maintain safety requirements on the injection of carbon dioxide in the United States. EPA maintains and enforces strict standards for CO2 well construction, issuing permits for storage wells only after they are proven safe and ensure the CO2 they store will remain sequestered indefinitely.
Who captures carbon dioxide, where does that happen, and what industries are using it?2024-03-18T14:02:16-05:00
  • CO2 is released through combustion fossil fuels, production of clean hydrogen, refining of biofuels, and processing of natural gas.
  • In addition industrial processes that are vital to our economy and living standards (such as steel and cement production and petrochemical facilities) are responsible for a significant amount of CO2 emissions.
    • There are a substantial and increasing number of large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities in operation or under development around the world, including many in America.
    • The U.S. federal government has prioritized CCS as an important means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. Substantial federal funding has been allocated to incentivize new investments in CCS.
    • Advancing CCS technology is making it possible to capture and store CO2 emissions from electric generating plants powered by fossil fuels. Several major power plant CCS installations are in operation, including one in the Houston, Texas area that has been in operation since 2017.
    • Major private investments – including a proposed $100 billion project centered around industrial facilities along the Houston Ship Channel – are planned to capture CO2 and transport it by pipeline to storage areas deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico.
How is carbon stored and what is the process?2024-03-18T14:02:43-05:00
  • Captured carbon dioxide is injected into deep porous rock formations such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or porous sandstone, which are more than a mile or two underground, where it will be permanently stored. Several layers of solid rock above them seal the CO2 and prevent it from migrating to the surface.
  • This process has been done safely for over 50 years.
How is carbon dioxide captured and how is it transported?2024-03-18T14:03:16-05:00
  • Facilities such as an ethanol plants utilize innovative and advanced technologies to capture carbon dioxide rather than allowing it to be vented into the atomsphere.
  • After capture, the CO2 is pressurized to the point where it becomes a liquid and can flow through pipelines to storage locations.
  • CO2 pipelines are essential to CCS because most of the sources of CO2, including ethanol refineries, are physically distant from geographic areas that have ideal underground storage geology.
  • Currently, there are over 7,500 miles of CO2 pipelines in operation. More will soon be needed. Once completed, the Summit Carbon Solutions project will add 2,500 miles to that number.
  • Unlike many other gases or substances that are transported by pipelines, the compressed CO2 is not flammable or explosive, making it safer to transport.

What Benefits Are Created by Capturing Carbon Dioxide?

How important is carbon capture to energy production and our overall economy?2024-03-18T14:05:42-05:00
  • Billions of both public and private investment have already been allocated towards decarbonization projects, with additional investments on the horizon.
  • CCS projects will allow for the continued strong and stable production of ethanol, thereby supporting a vibrant and growing Midwest agriculture economy and the maintenance of a healthy, safe, and thriving standard of living throughout the Midwest.
  • CCS will also allow for low-carbon power generation from clean-burning fuels such as natural gas, ensuring adequate and reliable supplies of electricity are available to meet rapidly growing demand while limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
What is the impact of carbon capture for ethanol on the agriculture marketplace?2024-03-18T14:07:23-05:00
  • Agriculture and the agriculture economy are key pillars supporting Main Street America, the Midwest economy, and our way of life.
  • Ethanol production remains critically important to Midwest agriculture because it uses half of America’s corn crop and ensures a strong market for the corn we grow.
  • This supports farm incomes, farm families, our rural communities and the agriculture-oriented businesses that support farming such as fertilizer, supplies and equipment.
  • A strong market for corn supports higher crop prices and farmland values.
  • By lowering the carbon intensity of ethanol, carbon capture qualifies this critical fuel for sale in the growing number low-carbon fuel markets, increasing its value and helping bolster a strong future for the industry and region.
  • Today the ethanol industry alone supports over 350,000 jobs and contributes more than $57 billion of economic activity in our rural communities and in towns and cities that support agriculture.
What is the direct impact from carbon capture projects in terms of jobs and spending?2024-03-18T14:08:01-05:00
  • Carbon capture projects lead to billions of dollars in investment, creation of thousands of direct jobs, protection of key parts of America’s economy and the generation of millions of dollars in tax revenue.
  • Additionally, CCS projects have an incredible ripple effect, benefitting local economies, supporting local suppliers, and boosting communities throughout the region.
  • For example, a study detailing the scope and impact of the Summit Carbon Solutions CCS project shows that in the construction phase, there would be an overall investment of $8 billion, over $2 billion spent on suppliers, contractors, etc.; the creation of over 11,000 jobs, and nearly $400 million in local, state and federal taxes.
  • In the long-term, operating a project like this will lead to over 1,100 jobs and nearly $100 million in annual tax revenues to the regions where it operates.

Where Is Carbon Capture Being Used and How Important Is It for Addressing Climate Change?

What does the future look like for carbon capture?2024-03-18T14:08:52-05:00
  • Because fossil fuels will continue to be an integral part of our energy sector for the foreseeable future, carbon capture will become the only significant way to make sure we are doing everything we can to reduce emissions.
  • Research is underway to find additional uses for carbon emissions. Some possibilities include: jet fuel, automobile seats, building materials, as well as transforming carbon emissions into algae biofuels.
How can carbon capture help address and meet climate change goals?2024-03-18T14:09:26-05:00
  • To be able to meet climate goals while ensuring reliable, affordable power, focusing only on renewable energy is not enough. An “All of the above” approach is necessary.
  • This is where carbon capture comes in. The only way to meet these future goals for reducing emissions is to capture, transport and store carbon.
  • Implementing carbon capture technologies will allow coal and gas-fired power plants to continue providing reliable, lower cost power as the green energy transition continues, while making it possible to reduce the overall carbon emissions being created in the process.
  • Carbon capture technologies are the only proven way to make sure America can meet the goal of reducing net greenhouse gases from industrial activities to near zero by 2050.
Which industries and locations are using carbon capture?2023-05-26T10:24:54-05:00
  • CO2 is released through the burning of fossil fuels, production of clean hydrogen, natural gas processing and more.
  • Additionally industrial plants that are vital to our economy (such as steel mills, cement plants, petrochemical facilities, etc.) are responsible for more than 25 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions around the world.
    • In some cases, CO2 emissions are a by-product of these processes rather than the result of burning fossil fuels in the production process.
  • There are 51 large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities around the world.
  • The first CCS has been in operation since 1972 and is located in Texas where natural gas plants have captured and stored more than 2002 million tons of CO2.

Who opposes these projects, and why?

Why is there opposition to CCS?2024-03-18T14:10:49-05:00
  • Extreme environmental opposition groups are opposing CCS for ethanol because their real agenda is to completely stop production and use of ethanol as a fuel for internal combustion engines such as in cars and trucks. They want to force Americans to only own and drive electric vehicles.Opponents also don’t want CCS technology and investment to advance because it will enable continued use of fossil fuels with low carbon emissions, which they oppose.
  • Even though CCS is essential to meeting our goals for lower carbon emissions, opponents wrongly believe that we can run the country and supply our rapidly growing need for electricity on 100% wind and solar power.
  • America’s power needs are growing rapidly because of proliferation of power-hungry data centers, electrification of vehicles and buildings, and a growing economy. Additions of wind and solar generation, while important, cannot possibly keep pace with our growing demand. Low carbon energy sources, including ethanol with CCS, will be essential to our quality of life.
  • Nearly all knowledgeable energy experts and economists know that we need “all of the above” energy sources, including clean fossil fuels and renewables, to power our growing economy.
What are opposition groups doing to stop carbon capture projects?2023-05-26T10:27:01-05:00
  • These groups continue to employee questionable tactics to prevent CCS projects from moving forward.
Who is funding these groups and why?2023-05-26T10:26:39-05:00
  • While these groups often claim to represent local voices, the money behind them shows a different story.
  • Some of the major funders of these “environmentalist” groups are:
    • California-based Compton Foundation
    • Patagonia Org
    • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
    • Parks Foundation
    • Tides Foundation
    • Coastal grant makers, including:
      • The Marty and Dorothy Silverman Foundation
      • The Annenberg Foundation
      • The McCune Foundation
Who are the groups opposed to carbon capture projects for ethanol?2023-05-26T10:26:07-05:00
  • Numerous radical “environmental” groups are opposed to CCS projects.
  • The multi-million dollar organizations opposing CCS projects are operating in a fantasy world. CCS is a proven, safe, and reliable way to reduce carbon emissions and protect our environment today and for the future.
  • As much as these groups would like the use of fossil fuels to come to an immediate end, that is simply not realistic. CCS allows for the reduction of carbon emissions while efforts are made to be less reliant on these traditional fuels.
  • Some of the groups opposed to carbon capture projects are:
    • Sierra Club
    • Bold Alliance
    • Food and Water Watch
    • Land Stewardship Project
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