Putting price on carbon won’t work to control warming

To the editor:

A 5-3-2022 letter says : ” putting a price on carbon can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate the development of clean energy support policies now that will reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.”

Here is why “putting a price on carbon” and building a CO2 pipeline is totally worthless for controlling global warming:

The pipeline would capture some 8 million metric tons of CO2 per year from 31 ethanol plants then pump it into the ground in North Dakota.

Using an average size coal-fired power plant like Coal Creek in North Dakota as an apples to apples comparison in regard to CO2 emissions against what the pipeline handles; here is a breakdown of its effect on global warming.

About 3.2% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is man-made. (D.O.E. 2000). About 44% of man-made CO2 is coming from coal-fired power plants world-wide. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2019), so that makes coal-fired CO2 about 1.4% of total CO2 in atmosphere.

America burns about 9% of the total worldwide coal usage (Enerdata, 2017), so that makes the total U.S. contribution to atmospheric CO2 about 0.126%. Coal Creek plant was emitting about 10 million tons of CO2 annually. That comes to about 0.7% of America’s coal-fired CO2 emissions stated by E.I.A. (1.36 billion tons per year).

This brings Coal Creek’s CO2 contribution of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere to a whopping 0.0009%; which is also what that CO2 pipeline would do to “Save the planet”.

With China burning over four times more coal than the U.S.A., is this not a totally futile endeavor?

Ethanol companies should ask their legislators to stop this ‘fake science’, government imposed, “putting a price on carbon” nonsense. It’s just another form of ‘taxation without representation’.

Phil Drietz



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