Warning of Poisonous Impacts, Omar and Garcia Lead Call for Moratorium on CO2 Pipelines

“CO2 spewing from a ruptured pipeline can suffocate humans and animals without notice,” more than a dozen House Democrats wrote to President Joe Biden.

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Chuy Garcia led a group of House Democrats on Tuesday in urging President Joe Biden to put a moratorium on federal permitting for new CO2 pipelines—infrastructure at the center of unproven carbon capture efforts—until robust safety regulations are finalized, warning that the current regulatory vacuum is a serious threat to public health.

“As an invisible and odorless asphyxiant, CO2 spewing from a ruptured pipeline can suffocate humans and animals without notice,” Omar (D-Minn.), Garcia (D-Ill.), and 11 other lawmakers wrote in a letter to Biden. “Transporting CO2 under the extremely high pressure required to maintain a supercritical fluid state can cause ruptures that ‘unzip’ a pipeline over long distances, allowing CO2 to escape before the flow can be stopped.”