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Rep. Sorensen wants strict controls for carbon dioxide pipelines

Rep.-elect Eric Sorensen, D-Ill., arrives for New Member Orientation check-in and program registration at the Hyatt Regency, in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP
FR171810 AP
Rep.-elect Eric Sorensen, D-Ill., arrives for New Member Orientation check-in and program registration at the Hyatt Regency, in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 13, 2022.

U.S. Rep. Eric Sorensen said he wants to see strict regulations for carbon dioxide pipelines to ensure their safety.

A carbon capture company wants to build a pipeline that could cross much of Sorensen's central and west Illinois district.

“We have to make sure that safety is at the forefront before we just allow the dirt to be dug up, the pipelines to be put down and then tackling the issue,” Sorensen said in an interview on WGLT’s Sound Ideas.

Sorensen, a Democrat from Moline, said he's also not sure how much benefit the pipelines will provide in reducing CO2 emissions.

Navigator Heartland Greenway withdrew its initial application because it did not include agreements for carbon sequestration. Environmental groups have protested the pipeline proposal.

Science committee

Sorensen said his background as a meteorologist will serve him well in one of his committee assignments.

Sorensen was appointed to the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee for his first term in Congress, in addition to the House Agriculture Committee. Sorensen said the role also will help him shape energy policy.

The former television meteorologist will serve on the energy subcommittee.

“I talk to too many people in central Illinois where extreme weather is having an impact,” said Sorensen, adding environmental policy to combat climate change will need to be incremental. He said climate change also will lead to rising insurance costs due to increased damage claims.

Biden in 2024

Polls show a majority of Democrats don’t want President Joe Biden to run for reelection next year.

Sorensen said he doesn't hear any apprehension from his party in Washington.

“Looking at what has happened in Congress in the past two years with the Inflation Reduction Act with, the Infrastructure Act, with the Chips and Science Act, these were bipartisan bills that made it through the House, the Senate and made it to the president’s desk,” Sorensen said.

Sorensen said now he's trying to make sure the 17th Congressional District gets its share of funding for shovel-ready projects.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.