A New Nimbyism Blocks Carbon Pipelines

Projects for burying carbon emissions are under pressure in the Midwest, spelling challenges ahead for massive infrastructure buildup.  Oil and gas pipelines have been stymied for years by environmentalists and landowners. Now those groups are blocking CO2 pipelines too. In the Midwest, a coalition of environmental groups and farmers have teamed up to stop plans to erect thousands of miles of pipelines that would carry climate-warming carbon emissions to underground storage locations.

The projects are vital to President Biden’s plans to drastically curtail emissions, but the groups question their green credentials, safety and use of eminent domain to seize private property. Regulators in North and South Dakota recently rejected permit applications by developers after fierce local opposition, injecting uncertainty into the companies’ multibillion-dollar plans to shuttle and store CO2 deep under the surface. The roadblocks are reminiscent of those faced in recent years by proposed crude pipelines such as Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline.