Des Moines, Iowa – On Wednesday, Iowans from across the state rallied outside of the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Materials Administration’s (PHMSA) conference in Des Moines to call for a federal moratorium on CO2 pipeline permitting. The rally came one day after more than 150 groups wrote to President Biden pushing for a carbon pipeline moratorium, citing the grave health and safety dangers of the pipeline scams.
“Carbon capture pipelines pose a clear threat to Iowans’ health and safety,” said Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer John Aspray. “We can’t allow pipeline profiteers to build these dangerous boondoggles through our backyards, against our will, without robust safety regulations to keep us safe. It is crucial that the Biden administration put a moratorium on carbon pipeline permitting now — before it’s too late.”
This week’s PHMSA meeting was scheduled at the request of an alliance of 30 groups representing Indigenous communities, landowners, sustainable agriculture, public health, and climate organizations to receive public input on an ongoing federal safety rulemaking for CO2 pipelines.
Three controversial carbon pipeline networks proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 and Wolf Carbon Solutions are advancing in the Midwest, absent necessarily revised safety guidelines. If built, the hazardous pipelines would cross more than 3,600 miles — more than half the mileage of all existing carbon pipelines nationwide.
Organizers of the rally demanded that:
- President Biden enact a federal moratorium on carbon pipelines, and that PHMSA urge states to issue a moratorium on CO2 pipelines
- PHMSA create the strongest regulations for CO2 pipelines possible
The rally was attended by people from across Iowa who oppose the pipelines for many reasons. Today, public safety was top of mind.
“Why are we even considering permits for Summit, Navigator, and Wolf when PHMSA is on the record saying they need more time to study these dangerous projects? These three companies cannot prematurely promise safety before they even know what safety standards are,” said Berleen Wobeter, an Iowa CCI member from Tama County. “A moratorium on CO2 pipelines is a common sense solution to protect our communities.”
“Carbon Capture and Storage is dangerous, unproven technology,” said Mahmud Fitil, the Land Defense Organizer for Great Plains Action Society. “It’s a greenwashed scheme for profiteers to get rich off government tax subsidies rather than a solution to the climate emergency that Iowans deserve, as Indigenous people we remain committed to the water, the land and the future generations.”
The rally comes after PHMSA issued the second largest fine in its history to a CO2 pipeline that was responsible for a disastrous rupture in Satartia, Mississippi that hospitalized over 40 people and harmed many more.
Photos are available here.