Plain Talk: Landowners want a better deal on the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline

MINOT, N.D. — Carbon capture and storage is a big deal for North Dakota. Not just because our state’s economy is dominated by commodity-based industries — energy and agriculture — that emit a lot of carbon, but because the geology under our feet lends itself to storing captured carbon.

There are billions in investments lined across several projects to not only capture and store carbon emitted in our state, but to bring carbon from other parts of the world here for storage as well.

One of the first major projects is the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline, proposed by Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions, which would bring carbon emitted by ethanol plants across the upper Midwest to our state for storage.

Only, some landowners say the company hasn’t been doing a good job at winning them over. On this episode of Plain Talk, Daryl Lies, the president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau, said some landowners had Summit Carbon representatives poking around on their land without permission. Kurt Swenson, himself a landowner who is in the process of negotiating with Summit, says the deals the company wants, and which North Dakota law allows, takes too much from landowners and doesn’t compensate nearly high enough.

These are important things, both men argue, because the future of the emerging carbon capture and storage industry in North Dakota hinges on how these first deals play out.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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