Texans Push to Join Carbon Capture Program

by | Apr 24, 2023 | 2024 Elections, Environment, Politics, Texas Elections, Texas Legislature

Advocates note hurdles in implementing Carbon capture: the need for approval and Republican elected officials in Texas.

There is little doubt among scientists that climate change is one of the most pressing issues we face, both domestically and globally. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has indicated that to tackle global warming and limit future temperature increases to 2.7°F, we must utilize technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere. 

One such technology is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) which is a vital tool in decarbonizing numerous industrial activities from generating power to manufacturing cement in the fight to combat climate change.

Under the Biden Administration, CCS got a shot in the arm through the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides incentives for carbon projects to make them economically attractive.

As it stands today, power is the largest carbon emitter in the energy sector, and Texas is no exception with oil and gas continuing to dominate the energy industry. 

But some companies like Houston-based Calpine are advocating for a better balance arguing that consumers should not have to choose between reliable and affordable clean energy.

Texas is currently seeking a primacy permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor the CCS Class VI wells, which will bury CO2 emissions underground. However, these approvals can be a long process and sometimes take up to five years.

Nearly 30 CCS projects across the country are currently waiting on permit approval, including the one in Texas. To date, only two states have received primacy to oversee their own projects after waiting numerous years. 

One person excited about the potential of carbon capture storage is Luke Warford, the 2022 Democratic Nominee for Texas Railroad Commission. “Texas has been an energy leader for generations and we have the opportunity to continue Texas energy leadership for generations to come. Carbon capture and storage is an emerging technology where we are positioned to secure Texas leadership,” said Warford.

Advocates note hurdles in implementing carbon capture and storage: the need for approval and Republican elected officials in Texas. Warford highlighted that if and when the supportive Biden administration approves Texas, our Republican Railroad commissioners have such a poor environmental enforcement track record, “CCS is a perfect example of how Texans need elected officials who will actually do their jobs instead of holding back Texas’ vibrant energy industry.” 

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