Wolf Administration Joins 6 States In Commitment To Develop Regional Carbon Dioxide Transport Infrastructure Plan To Promote Carbon Capture

On October 1, Gov. Tom Wolf announced his administration is joining with six other states – Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma and Wyoming – in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) expressing a commitment to establish and implement a regional CO2 transport infrastructure plan by collaborating and leveraging resources across the participating states.

            [Note: This is different from the Transportation and Climate Initiative.]

“My administration is committed to ensuring that we comprehensively address climate change, and that includes taking steps that will protect our environment while investing in our clean energy industries, which provide many Pennsylvanians with quality family-sustaining jobs,” Gov.Wolf said. “This infrastructure plan will continue to invest in those jobs and even create new jobs in emerging energy industries while reducing harmful CO2 emissions.”

According to the MOU, the signatory states recognize that development of regional and national CO2 transport networks, together with proposed tax credits and other financial incentives for carbon capture from industrial facilities and power plants and from ambient air through direct air capture, can support long-term production and use of America’s abundant and affordable natural resources, and create and preserve high-paying jobs in energy-producing, agricultural, and industrial states of the country, all while significantly reducing net carbon emissions.

“Pennsylvania is an energy leader, thanks to our abundant natural resources and strong manufacturing presence, said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin. “Carbon capture technologies provide a critical component to addressing our climate challenge by providing the means to capture, utilize and store carbon associated with power generation, industrial manufacturing, and other carbon intensive operations. We must seize the environmental and economic opportunities to work with surrounding states to support carbon transport infrastructure and with emerging industries focusing on carbon utilization.”

“Climate change is the biggest environmental threat we face as a state and nation. Working cooperatively with other states to mitigate and remove carbon emissions gives us another tool in addressing this existential challenge,” said Department of Environmental ProtectionSecretary Patrick McDonnell.

“The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been engaged on the topic of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) for nearly 20 years, and during this time, the department’s Bureau of Geological Survey has assessed numerous subsurface geologic resources that have potential to serve as carbon storage reservoirs,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “Based on international research, we know that geologic carbon storage is a part of the mix of energy transition technologies necessary for achieving the 2-degree climate mitigation goal. The development of responsibly placed regional transport infrastructure will be key to ensuring Pennsylvania’s success in matching CO2 source to sinks and reducing our carbon footprint with this climate mitigation goal in mind.”

Act 129 of 2008 directed the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to study the issue of carbon capture and underground storage of carbon dioxide.

A series of reports were produced on geological carbon sequestration opportunities in Pennsylvania, assessment of risk, legal issues and insurance and viability of a large-scale carbon capture and sequestration network in the state.

The reports found there would need to be several significant changes in law to make large-scale carbon capture and sequestration feasible in the Commonwealth.

In February, Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) announced he would be introducing legislation to create a new Clean Energy Standard with carbon capture as an important part of a new Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.  So far the bills have not been introduced.  Read more here.

Approximately 5,200 miles of CO2 pipelines are safely operating today in 11 states.

The signatory states will establish a coordination group that will undertake the development of an action plan, which will include state and regional policy recommendations related to CO2 transport infrastructure deployment.

The release of the action plan is set for October 2021.

As a starting point, the group will review the findings of a recently released white paper detailing carbon capture and storage opportunities and related infrastructure throughout the Midwest and Western regions.

The economies of scale demonstrated by the study’s results show clear climate and economic benefits of long-term coordination and planning of CO2 transport infrastructure for mid-century decarbonization.

The coordination group will also identify barriers to the development of CO2 transport infrastructure and develop strategies and recommendations to remove these barriers and work together to raise awareness of carbon capture and related opportunities associated with development of regional CO2 transport infrastructure among stakeholders, policymakers and the public.

The state coordination group will be facilitated by the Great Plains Institute and informed by additional and ongoing work by the State Carbon Capture Work Group and the Regional Carbon Capture Deployment Initiative.

TAP HERE for all articles in October 5 EXPRESS Update