Cassidy: Allow La. to approve carbon capture, storage projects

Published 1:10 pm Saturday, June 24, 2023

By US Sen. Bill Cassidy

Unleashing Louisiana’s energy creates jobs and spurs innovation.

Producing oil and gas in Louisiana is crucial for our local economy, and it provides affordable energy for the whole country. Many of these energy producers want to invest in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) so they can keep operating in Louisiana long into the future.

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A lot of Louisianans, about 150,000 people or 8% of the population, work in the energy sector with many more employed in the manufacturing of plastic, chemicals, and other products dependent on this energy. It’s clear what’s at stake for Louisiana.

Capturing and storing carbon is the next step in creating jobs and growing Louisiana’s economy. It’s important for our state to have the power to permit, site, and provide oversight of carbon storage wells, without relying on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This will help us stay ahead of other states while protecting the environment.

The EPA has failed Louisiana in this space. The Biden EPA recently proposed standards that require power plants using fossil fuel to install controls such as CCS and threaten to shut down any and all oil, gas, and coal-based electricity production. But they refuse to permit CCS storage in Louisiana or anywhere else in the country. This is despite the Biden administration’s statements that CCS is necessary to achieve their “climate goals.”

We need to make sure Louisiana has primacy—the power to grant permits—so we can provide regulatory certainty so our state can lead in producing energy and manufactured products with low emissions into the future.

EPA is hosting public hearings this week to decide if Louisiana will have full control over permitting and regulation CCS projects in our state. Louisiana is a leader in energy production, so we should have control over CCS projects and carbon storage wells, just like we have control over other wells. Both the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality are well-equipped with the technical expertise needed to approve projects.

We must support Louisiana’s efforts to protect our economy and future. Allowing Louisiana to control CCS storage in our state will help create high-paying jobs while meeting environmental goals.

If we want Louisiana to be in the best position for American energy independence, make sure we don’t rely on China for supply chains, and do so in a way that reduces pollution, we must support Louisiana’s plans for CCS storage wells.