A handful of Louisiana lawmakers brought bills this session to address public outcry over carbon capture and sequestration projects, but their fellow legislators rejected most of their proposals, reports Louisiana Illuminator.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has embraced the technology in his plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions in Louisiana by 2050. Carbon capture projects were also incentivized with a boosted tax credit in the federal Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
So far, there are at least 20 capture storage sites planned for Louisiana, according to a recent report commissioned by the nonprofit 2030 Fund. The projects represent hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars of industry investment in the state, and one of the largest, Air Products $4.5 billion Ascension Parish blue hydrogen complex, is in the Capital Region.
But neighbors of the proposed carbon capture facilities worry about safety risks and ecological damage, and some environmentalists say the technology enables continued polluting by companies instead of encouraging them to move away from fossil fuels.
While the multiple proposals to rein in carbon capture languished in the Legislature, the state Senate passed a resolution urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grant the state’s request for primary enforcement authority in administering permitting for Class VI injection wells used in carbon sequestration.
The resolution, authored by Senate President Patrick Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, and co-authored by 27 senators present, heralded carbon capture as an “integral part” of the energy transition.
Headed into the last day of the session, one bill addressing carbon capture remains up in the air. House Bill 571 would expand notice requirements for carbon sequestration projects. The state conservation commissioner must notify parish governing authorities of any completed permit applications for Class V and Class VI wells in their area. The bill has passed both chambers and is now in a conference committee after the House rejected the Senate amendments to the bill.