PSC considering carbon dioxide pipeline

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:33 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Public Service Commission held the fifth of five public hearings today at the Heritage Center in Bismarck... discussing a project that would carry carbon dioxide from five states to North Dakota to be transported underground.

There were harsh words leveled at Summit Carbon Solutions.

“Routing this pipeline as you all have defiantly done east and north of Bismarck demonstrates how none of you Summit stakeholders could give two ounces of care for any of our citizens’ lives being affected,” said Michelle Jundt, from Bismarck.

Others believe carbon dioxide is actually good for the atmosphere and so sequestering the carbon dioxide emissions is senseless.

“Folks, God didn’t put these elements in the atmosphere because they were dangerous, he knew what he was doing. And now, he was listening to a bunch of devil worshippers tell us we need to bury CO-2 a mile deep in the earth,” said Linda Hagen-Mathern, Bismarck.

But regardless of your opinion on climate change, some say green is marketable, and such a project would be a boon for North Dakota’s economy.

“It reduces the carbon intensity for the ethanol plants, makes the product more profitable and gives them access to low-carbon fuel markets. So that, at least, maintains the demand, if not increases the demand for corn, so that helps keep that commodity price high, helps keep land values high,” said James Powell, chief operating officer for Summit Carbon Solutions.

Others are concerned about safety if there’s a leak.

“Health and safety of humans and livestock, animals, any breathing creature,” said Curtis Jundt, Bismarck.

But Summit says they’ve got safety in mind.

“It’s a valid concern. But I will tell you I think this is going to be the safest pipeline constructed. We’re exceeding PHMSA regulations in many areas which are already rigorous. And statistically, pipeline releases in this country, and generally, are a very, very low probability,” said Powell.

The PSC didn’t take action today.

There has been a lot of movement on the carbon dioxide project recently. Just this week, Summit Carbon Solutions determined a southern route around Bismarck wasn’t feasible, and the Northwest Landowners Association sued the state over amalgamation laws.