Letter: The Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline is a bad idea

"There are better ways to spend $1 billion of taxpayer money — child care, school lunches, student debt relief or just not spend it at all," Bismarck resident Bruce Johnson writes.

Letter to the editor FSA

Summit's plan to build a sprawling pipeline to collect and dispose of up to 12 million tons of carbon dioxide per year is a bad idea not just for citizens and landowners that live near the pipeline but especially for taxpayers. This whole scheme is based on carbon credit legislation passed in the Inflation Reduction Act — the act that virtually no member of Congress had the opportunity to read and study what was in it before it was passed. If Summit is able to collect and bury 12 million tons of carbon dioxide each year as they propose, they will receive about $1 billion per year in Q45 credits.

According to the EPA, the United States produced about 6,350 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2021. Summit Carbon will remove less than 0.2% of the carbon produced in the U.S. at a cost of $1 billion a year. Its not worth it. Also, Sen. Kevin Cramer is co-sponsoring a bill to mandate the sale of E15 year-round, which means more ethanol, more carbon and more tax credits. Can it get more wasteful?

There are better ways to spend $1 billion of taxpayer money — child care, school lunches, student debt relief or just not spend it at all. It just adds to our national debt that stands right now at nearly $32 trillion dollars and growing. The best and cheapest way to get carbon out of our air is to stop putting it there in the first place. We don't need ethanol.

Recently, research funded in part by the National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Department of Energy, found that ethanol is at least 24% more carbon-intensive than gasoline due to emissions resulting from land use changes to grow corn, along with processing and combustion. It makes food cost more. The price of a gallon of ethanol, which has 33% less BTU content compared to gasoline, doesn't reflect the true cost of ethanol because farm programs and crop insurance payouts are not figured in. Yet the EPA insists on mandating the use of this second-rate fuel. The Renewable Fuel Standard that mandated the blending of ethanol back in 2005 was considered by many a boondoggle. Carbon capture is just another federal boondoggle to support another wasteful federal boondoggle.

Bruce Johnson is a resident of Bismarck.


This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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