The Iberville Parish Freakout Over Carbon-Capture Storage Is Pretty Instructive

So here’s a story from WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge about a meeting of the Parish Council in Iberville Parish, where it’s proposed to inject carbon dioxide from industrial emissions deep underground – and the local folks aren’t thrilled.

TALOS energy gave a presentation to the council, saying similar ideas have been done before.

“CO2 has been utilized in injection wells since the early 1970s,” a representative said.

But many council members, like Matthew Jewell, weren’t buying it.

“I’ll tell you all right now, I’m not for it. So help me, Jesus, I will resign off this board before I endorse something like this,” Jewell said.

And many took the stand to voice their opposition. One person said, “none of the people who live here want it.”

Charlotte Gaspard lives nearby. She says it’s concerning that the carbon dioxide would be stored so close to homes, and doesn’t know what the effects are.

“It’s scary to think they would do this in my backyard,” Gaspard told WBRZ. “To me, it sounds like an experiment. They’re going to see if it works out here. It’s in my backyard and it’s scary,” Gaspard added.

Tommy Dagle also lives nearby and hopes Parish President Mitch Ourso does not let this happen.

“The best thing Mitchell can do and has been doing is say thank you, but no thank you,” Dagle told WBRZ.

For the most part, what’s being proposed is harmless, at least environmentally. Carbon dioxide is what comes out of your nose when you breathe. Plants like it; in fact, they can’t survive without it.

Of course, that’s an excellent argument for releasing it into the air rather than spend millions of dollars building infrastructure to force it down under the ground.

Does it pose a danger down there? Well, carbon dioxide mixed with water, and it’s quite conceivable that the carbon dioxide proposed to be injected under the ground in Iberville Parish will mix with the ground water eventually, will produce carbonic acid (H2CO3). And in high concentrations that can irritate your respiratory tract. It would be pretty surprising if there’s enough of a concentration that would come from the TALOS project to ever cause that problem.

You have carbonic acid in your body, you know. It isn’t an exotic or scary substance.

But the reaction of the residents in Iberville tells you a lot about the society we live in. Between the six o’clock news and the environmentalist nuts predicting the end of the world 24/7, everybody is conditioned to believe that virtually any kind of industrial project is bound to give everybody cancer or turn their neighborhood into Love Canal or Chernobyl. So what’s a relatively innocuous project gets angry citizens teaming up to try to shut it down.

Companies like TALOS can’t win, you know. The only reason they’re trying to build a carbon-capture facility in the first place is that the environmentalist nuts flush with federal grant money and contributions from the ESG crowd are pushing carbon capture as the price for having an oil and gas or petrochemical industry in an age of Net Zero emissions, which they’re supposed to achieve by 2050.

The entire thing is stupid and childish, but the petrochemical industry thinks this is the only way they’re going to be able to operate in this country going forward.

And being the usual corporate crowd, they’re conditioned to just make the best of things as they are rather than actually fight off the environmentalist nuts who think carbonic acid piling up underground is better than carbon dioxide feeding trees and bushes above ground.

It’s all stupid, but it’s where we are. And the millions of dollars wasted building underground storage facilities, well…at least it’ll provide work for engineers and industrial construction firms for a little while.

The guy who should have been on hand at that Iberville parish council meeting is John Bel Edwards, who appears to be setting himself up to rake in a nice paycheck as a carbon-capture advocate when he leaves office next year. Edwards has jumped on this idiocy with both feet as part of his Funny-Looking Al Gore persona he’s developed in his second term, so maybe he ought to get a head start on that by placating the folks in Iberville.

But of course he wouldn’t do that, and it wouldn’t have helped anyway. Edwards leaves the governor’s mansion and his Fourth Floor office to photo ops and hunting trips and not much else.



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