Is carbon storage the Gulf Coast’s next big thing?


Plans are underway for nearly a dozen commercial-scale carbon repositories along the Gulf Coast, the Houston Chronicle reports.

If completed, the facilities would begin putting back into the ground the carbon dioxide that has flowed to the surface as oil and natural gas for more than a century.

Among the developers, the Houston Chronicle reports, are the Houston oil company Occidental Petroleum and one of Louisiana’s largest landholders, the Stream family, who is planning develop a carbon storage site spanning thousands of acres along the southwest coast of Louisiana.

For decades, the newspaper notes, companies such as Occidental have pumped carbon dioxide underground to aid in oil and gas production. But storing carbon dioxide underground strictly to combat climate change was considered an unlikely enterprise without a massive injection of government money or without the creation of a national carbon tax or other pricing mechanism to force polluters into the practice.

After a 2018 expansion of the federal government’s carbon capture incentive program, however, polluters can earn a $50 tax credit for each ton of carbon dioxide they store.

Under that structure, Chas Roemer, who is building what he says will be the world’s first net-zero LNG export and industrial gas production complex LNG plant—which at full capacity would emit about 4 million tons of carbon a year—could gain a $200 million reduction in its tax bill.

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