On April 18, the Carbon Capture Coalition submitted comments to the Council on Environmental Quality’s interim ‘Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration Guidance,’ mandated by the 2020-enacted bipartisan Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (USE IT Act).
Commercial-scale deployment of carbon management technologies, which includes carbon capture, removal, transport, utilization and storage, is fundamental to meeting the Administration’s net-zero and midcentury climate goals. In its most recent WGIII Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms the central role that these technologies will play in capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from emitting sectors, as well as directly removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Carbon capture, transport and storage technologies have been proven at commercial scale in the United States. The U.S. has more than 50 years’ experience safely transporting and storing CO2. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a robust regulatory framework in place to monitor, verify and report CO2 storage to maintain storage integrity and provide public confidence in the 45Q program. While direct air capture and carbon utilization are more nascent technologies, they will also play an important role in a deeply decarbonized economy and will be subject to many of the same permitting and reporting regimes that have been used for existing carbon capture, transport and storage projects.
Successful carbon management project deployment will require both meaningful engagement and coordination with local communities, as well as timely and robust permitting processes. It is crucial that federal permitting agencies and project developers take a collaborative and early approach to engagement with affected communities and Tribal Nations consistent with the Administration’s midcentury climate goals.
Many of the recommendations made by CEQ in the interim guidance echo consensus-based positions developed by the Coalition’s more than 90 companies, unions, and conservation and environmental organizations. The members of the Coalition look forward to the Administration and Congress to ensure swift and efficient implementation of the historic carbon management provisions contained in both the USE IT Act and the recently-enacted bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).