Carbon Capture Coalition Supports Administration’s New Pipeline Safety Measures

May 26, 2022 | News

The following statement may be attributed to Jessie Stolark, Public Policy & Member Relations Manager for the Carbon Capture Coalition:

“Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced several additional measures the agency is undertaking to ensure that the further buildout of CO2 transport infrastructure necessary to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 is done to the highest safety standards.  These common-sense steps announced today by PHMSA build on comprehensive existing CO2 pipeline regulations and were supported by the Coalition in April comments to the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality on their interim CCUS guidance.

“Along with the additional common-sense safety measures PHMSA announced today, the agency also released the long-awaited incident report from the 2020 CO2 pipeline failure in Satartia, Mississippi, which provides insights into probable operator violations that led to the pipeline rupture. This incident was terrible and should not have happened. The public PHMSA safety data show that CO2 pipelines have been and can be operated at the highest level of safety by best-practice industry operators. We must ensure all in industry meet the highest levels of safety as we scale the infrastructure necessary to meet midcentury climate goals.

“To achieve net-zero emissions, a substantial buildout of CO2 pipeline infrastructure will be needed to transport large quantities of CO2 from industrial facilities, power plants and direct air capture facilities to points of utilization and permanent geologic storage. The Carbon Capture Coalition has long-supported rigorous safety design, inspection and maintenance protocols associated with CO2 capture, transport and storage infrastructure and recognizes the excellent historical safety record of such infrastructure.

“To scale up the CO2 infrastructure essential to meet midcentury climate targets, there must be full public and policymaker confidence in CO2 pipeline safety. CO2 pipelines have been operating in the United States for 50 years, with over 5,000 miles of pipelines currently in operation—in some cases, with individual pipelines safely transporting millions of tons of CO2 annually over hundreds of miles across entire regions. CO2 pipelines have an excellent safety record overall – one that easily surpasses other climate-essential energy infrastructure, such as electric transmission and distribution systems.  Safety data from PHMSA show that CO2 pipelines have been and can be operated at the highest level of safety by best-practice industry operators.

“We welcome today’s announcement and look forward to supporting PHMSA’s implementation of these common-sense steps.”