By Elizabeth Nickson, Frontier Centre for Public Policy
Right now South Dakota is under attack by a freshly born green corporation, Summit Carbon Solutions, funded by China’s Belt and Road initiative, and you, through the Green New Deal provisions buried in the last debt ceiling deal, to pipe “carbon,” from the oil fields to some obscure part of the Dakotas and bury it.
There can be no more stupid waste of money than this. But even some of our bravest politicians, including Kristi Noem, Pierre Poilivere and Danielle Smith in Canada cower before the almighty (anti-)carbon lobby and rabbit on about sequestering it. It is an industry into which thieves flood because it means you loot the public purse at the beginning through Green New Deal giveaways, and then for all perpetuity because of the tax advantage. People have been so scarified by the word, they do not know what it means anymore, they nod enthusiastically.
So let’s refresh: carbon = carbon dioxide. Plant food. Your outbreath. The thing that makes life on earth habitable. The thing they are trying to introduce into Mars to make it habitable. In order to terraform Mars, you need carbon dioxide.
A policy researcher friend tried to track down the annual billions, trillions over the last thirty years, that the U.N. and its various satellites have given of your money to “climate change” mitigation outfits in the Global South. The money vanishes, nothing happens, it’s stolen. She google-earthed one heavily PR’ed outfit, only to discover that it didn’t exist, just a pile of sand. These projects are payoffs to an army of activists placed at every weak point in the system. If the projects exist, they don’t work. Both the Guardian and Harper’s have done extensive work on the fraud of “climate mitigation.” Carbon sequestration is a scam meant to steal public money.
This time, Kristi Noem is facing down an activated people who are fit to be tied, protesting and signing petitions. This is generally taken as “the people’s voice” in the enviro business and must be obeyed. But not, apparently, when you are fighting “green.” This time, Summit Corporation is barreling through people’s farms, breaking into their barns, threatening ranchers with armed guards, and generally behaving like the WEFer army Trudeau sent to brutalize the truckers. This is a new iteration from the One World Government, anonymous Kevlar-coated mercenaries in the heartland.
So it is that the carbon dioxide pipeline in North Dakota is receiving rapid approvals and aggressive eminent domain clearing overturning the years, even decades it takes to clear a pipeline. The first thing Biden did was cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. It was protested by the activist army that moves into any hot spot, the leaders of which are paid well to lead the chaos. But in this instance, the carbon pipeline is being protested by actual residents fearing actual harm. Co2 is an unstable gas, unlike oil and natural gas. Co2 pipelines explode and kill people. They blow up in part because the technology is not sorted out, unlike petroleum engineering. But never mind! It’s virtuous. It’s fabulous, it must be done, whether you like it or not.
I know! Let’s overturn democracy. Writes Pipeline contributor Steven F. Hayward in the Claremont Review of Books:
“The most overwrought, assertive climate change activists have a “transformative” agenda to halt and reverse global warming. The problem is that there’s no evidence voting majorities in any modern democracy are willing to be transformed by Green New Deals or other, even wilder schemes. And if the people reject the climate agenda? There must be ways to enact it despite them. There may even be ways to insist that this thwarting of the popular will is, in fact, a more noble rendering of democracy than mere government by consent of the governed.”
He quotes Ross Mittiga, the author of “Political Legitimacy, Authoritarianism, and Climate Change,” asking whether we must sacrifice democracy to save the planet:
“Satisfying this standard may entail elevating the status or power of experts in the political process by, for instance, affording them a salient consultatory role or even some kind of veto power over legislation…. One can imagine a “Supreme Court of Climate Experts,” tasked with evaluating, modifying, or striking down legislation to the extent it exacerbates the climate crisis or contributes to other grave forms of environmental destruction.”
Observes Steve: “This hardly differs from the parade of authoritarian horrors offered elsewhere in the article.”
Alas, all over the U.S., activists are attempting to override both political and judicial process placing their judgment above democratic process, and their pet judges agree. Usually local farmers, ranchers, rural businessmen and women are rolled flat by out-of-state lawyers and money from movie stars, but this time, the victims have constitutional lawyers. The South Dakota Freedom Caucus is fighting back and Gov. Noem is caught. Approving this pipeline will mean money for her coffers from Summit, jobs, albeit temporary; no doubt, federal funds will be held back until she approves it. You can read the Caucus’ extensive legal argument here.
Even the Sierra Club thinks carbon capture is fraudulent:
“The fact that the 45Q tax break for carbon capture and sequestration specifically states that enhanced oil recovery [EOR] counts as sequestration means that these companies could get paid twice for the same carbon— first, via the tax break for capturing and shipping it, and again when they sell it for EOR. “The bottom line,” says [Richard] Kuprewicz, “is if you’re trying to get CO2 in the atmosphere to reduce global warming, but you’ve created this huge market incentive to drive and generate more oil recovery, that may be in conflict with getting rid of CO2 in the atmosphere… We’re getting ahead of ourselves on pipelines,” he says. “For billions of dollars you can make smart people do incredibly stupid things.”
Carbon capture is a gold rush, the gold being public money. Exxon Mobil just bought a carbon capture company. Certainly it knows of the dangers and inefficacy, but such virtue signaling makes them look good. Summit Corporation is another dishonest outfit prospecting for free public money.
Opposition mounts. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has announced it will hold hearings on their pipeline in September. Three days ago, Daniel Horowitz of The Blaze asked why Noem was dragging her heels about calling a special session of the legislature to deal with the “carbon-capture” threat.
“This problem has been festering for quite some time, it’s just that the governor thought she’d be able to quietly skate by enabling Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator CO2 to do the dirty work while not overtly endorsing their project. Noem’s reluctance to call a session comes on the heels of her refusal to support the existing bill in the regular session. The governor is pretending like this issue is just beginning and that lawmakers need to send some new legislation for her to review. But she is very familiar with House Bill 1133, introduced by Rep. Karla Lems. There’s nothing to review; it’s a one-paragraph bill. It simply makes it clear that eminent domain can only be used for a pipeline that actually produces a public good, not merely captures carbon. Done.”
In Illinois, through which carbon pipelines are planned to flow, a state senator has proposed a moratorium on carbon capture pipelines to address safety concerns.
“McClure said the pipeline issue was first brought to his attention by some of those who live along the path of Heartland Greenway. He said he was concerned about the potential for a pipeline rupture similar to one that happened in Satartia, Mississippi in early 2020, when 45 people were hospitalized and 200 were evacuated. The carbon dioxide sucked the air out of the surrounding area and caused gas-using vehicles to fail, according to reports.”
“When you have a pipeline that’s that big [and] that will stretch across so much rural area, how on earth would emergency folks be able to get to a rupture in time to help people?,” McClure said.“
We have to stop throwing our future into the great green maw.