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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Ohio environmental groups skeptical of carbon-capture rule for public lands

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Monday, January 29, 2024   

The Biden administration is considering a rule change to allow carbon dioxide from air or industrial processes to be captured and stored in national parks.

Under the proposal, carbon sequestration could begin in Ohio's Wayne National Forest. Opponents say the move is a historic reversal of U.S. Forest Service policy protecting public lands.

Randi Pokladnik, retired environmental scientist and volunteer for Save Ohio Parks, said carbon capture operations require pipelines similar to those used in fracking. She said pipelines ferrying CO2 would have to run deep into forested areas or grasslands, where the gas would be injected into underground wells.

"They have to modify the rules that they use right now, because right now, you can't do anything permanent in national forests or grasslands," Pokladnik explained. "If they store carbon in Class Six injection wells, that will be permanent storage."

According to an Energy Department estimate, carbon capture and sequestration would require 96,000 miles of pipeline by 2050. Supporters of the rule change, including the Carbon Capture Coalition, argued geologic storage of carbon dioxide beneath federal lands would be an opportunity to expand the domestic carbon-management industry and help meet global climate obligations.

Pokladnik contends a host of problems would come with dumping large amounts of carbon dioxide into forests and grasslands, including potential water contamination and degradation of local ecosystems.

"It is not a way to address climate change, it's just another way to keep allowing the fossil fuel companies to run us off the road," Pokladnik contended. "Then, the fact that they want to do this on public lands."

There is little evidence carbon capture is effective on a large scale. According to the Ohio River Valley Institute, carbon capture could cost the nation $100 billion per year, and would likely raise average household electricity rates by 25%.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


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