Should voters decide fate of proposed carbon storage project under Lake Maurepas?

Photo by Julie Dermansky. Air Products provides information during a 2022 meeting to Livingston Parish residents about the development of the world’s largest carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project under Lake Maurepas.

Livingston Parish President-elect Randy Delatte had a simple recommendation for a state task force gathering input on a controversial proposal to inject carbon dioxide under Lake Maurepas: Give the people who live near the lake the same level of consideration given to special interest groups.

Louisiana Illuminator reports that Delatte testified last week before the Louisiana Senate’s Task Force on Local Impacts of Carbon Capture and Sequestration. After hearing from concerned residents at a meeting about three weeks ago, the panel reserved time Monday to hear from state and local officials and researchers with expertise in carbon capture and sequestration.

Some 30 carbon capture projects have been proposed across Louisiana. While all of them fall into the purview of the task force, the Lake Maurepas project has drawn the most public pushback. Air Products wants to drill wells to inject 5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year about a mile below its lakebed. It’s part of a $4.5 billion hydrogen manufacturing complex in adjacent Ascension Parish that would use CCS technology to pipe the greenhouse gas under the lake rather than release it into the atmosphere.

The company has already brought drilling rigs and other equipment into the lake for test wells after conducting controversial seismic testing earlier this year.

Monique Edwards, state commissioner of conservation, told the task force that her office has the ability and expertise to regulate carbon injection wells.

“The bottom line is that the men and women of the Office of Conservation live here, play here and are raising their families here,” Edwards said. “We are all committed to making sure that the state we call home is protected and flourishes.”

Delatte is also concerned about other impacts the project is having on Lake Maurepas.

Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.