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Ethanol Industry Wants to Bury Its Carbon, but Some Farmers Stand in the Way


Pipeline projects aimed at sequestering heat-trapping gases are meeting opposition similar to that faced by fossil-fuel pipelines

Keith Puntenney, who owns three farms in central Iowa, says some of his corn crops are still suffering from oil-pipeline construction on his land.Photo: Joe Barrett/The Wall Street Journal

GOLDFIELD, Iowa—Responding to climate-change concerns, ethanol plants like the one in this town of 630 surrounded by 10-foot-tall corn stalks are eager to join new pipeline networks that aim to carry carbon dioxide to places where it can be buried underground.

But these CO2 pipeline projects are running into fierce resistance from landowners and environmentalists, similar to that faced by fossil-fuel conduits. Opponents say the CO2 pipelines threaten to trample property rights and delicate agricultural drainage systems, and are ill-conceived boondoggles aimed at harvesting government tax credits, not reducing heat-trapping gases.

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