Governor Kim Reynolds says carbon pipelines are private sector projects and she does not support direct state investment in any of the pipelines that are proposed.
During her Condition of the State address last week, Reynolds called for investment in “carbon capture solutions sustain and build on our leadership in renewable energy.”
During an interview with Radio Iowa, Reynolds indicated she’s talking about state money for Iowa State University research focused on how Iowa farmers could secure carbon credits for planting crops.
“There’s a lot of interest in capturing carbon and we want to truly understand that,” Reynolds said. “It’s a value add for our farmers. It’s really important, I think, for the industry to not only sustain it, but to build on our leadership and I just think like we have with other renewables — wind, biofuels — we should be leading again and this is an opportunity for us to do that.”
For example, ISU researchers already are studying something called “biochar” which is added to soils to help store carbon underground.
There are now three proposed pipeline projects to carry liquid carbon through the state, with terminals to pick up stored carbon emissions from Iowa fertilizer and ethanol plants. Reynolds told Radio Iowa it’ll be up to the private sector to make their case with landowners and state regulators.
“We always have to be conscientious about taking someone’s land and the impact it has on that. This is underground, so it’s disrupted for a little while, but they can still utilize it, as far as the pipelines, but also, I mean it is extremely important to an industry,” Reynolds said. “I think it is like over 55% of our corn goes to ethanol, so we have figure out a way to balance the two.”
Critics of the pipelines say the projects to capture carbon emissions from ethanol plants are a waste of money as the country moves toward electric vehicles. Environmentalists says liquid carbon is a hazardous material and poses a danger as it’s shipped through pipelines and stored underground.