Are carbon capture projects worth their weight in tax exemptions?


Louisiana officials over the past week have been touting state incentives for a $198.5 million carbon capture project at an Ascension Parish chemical plant.

However, as The Center Square reports, experts suggest it’s not as sure an investment as it might seem.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced last week that CF Industries plans to invest $198.5 million to construct a CO2 compression and dehydration unit at its Donaldsonville complex that’s expected to process up to 6,000 tons of CO2 per day.

The project will enable up to 2 million tons of CO2 to be processed each year before it’s liquefied and transported via pipeline to a yet-to-be-determined sequestration site. The process will enable CF Industries to produce up to 1.7 million tons annually of blue ammonia, and the Board of Commerce and Industry and local governments have already approved CF Industries for the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

The project is the second announced this year in which taxpayers will subsidize carbon capture and clean energy projects through tax exemptions, with the first involving a $900 million investment announced by Cleco in April to add carbon capture at its Boyce power plant.

But Katie Tubb, research fellow with conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate and Environment, points to a Government Accountability Office report issued last year that showed poor returns from 11 carbon capture projects subsidized by the Department of Energy since 2009.

Other experts including Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, have suggested carbon capture technologies can cause more harm than good. Read the full story.