Thursday, June 20, 2024

Mills: Setting the record straight on carbon capture and storage

by BIZ Magazine

My family and I have been involved in the oil & gas business in Louisiana since 1919. I also have 25 years’ experience in the very complex crude oil refining industry, and I currently serve Louisiana as State Senator of District 36. Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering if the state of Louisiana will have primary responsibility, or primacy, for the permitting and regulation of new carbon capture projects.

Louisianans were able to weigh in directly with the Environmental Protection Agency at a public hearing in Baton Rouge that began on June 21. There were a lot of passionate views expressed from both sides. 

Given what’s occurred at previous hearings around the country, there’s a lot of misinformation brewing, so let’s set the record straight.

These new projects – Class 6 carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) facilities – will bring new investments to Louisiana, and with it support and create jobs, drive economic activity, and support an important industry for our state. It’s important that we have the facts. 

 While some groups have questioned the safety of CCUS technology, according to the Department of Energy, CCUS has a long track record of safety. There have been many large-scale studies showing that carbon can be effectively stored underground, and the technology used in CCUS projects to store carbon has been safely used for the past 40 years.

Some folks here in Louisiana are worried about oversight of new CCUS projects, and others want to have their concerns about the technology heard. State agencies here in Louisiana have a history of doing just that. Regulators in Louisiana are committed to consulting with experts and communities across the state before constructing new CCUS projects, and once they’re built, rules and regulations will make sure those projects will be tested regularly to ensure safety.  

While many consider this a new technology, the fact is that state agencies here in Louisiana have safely regulated CCUS for over 50 years. Since 1982, state regulators have listened to and addressed the needs of Louisianians, making the oil and natural gas industry the most tightly-regulated industry in Louisiana – all while adding good-paying jobs and growing our state’s economy. 

As the EPA considers granting our state its 6th primacy permit, it’s important for Louisianians to have the facts about CCUS.  

Louisiana Senator Robert M. Mills, District 36

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