Coalition Supports Establishment of Regional Carbon Management Task Forces

October 13, 2021 | Legislation

On October 8, the Carbon Capture Coalition sent a letter to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, supporting the establishment of two regional task forces focused on improving the performance of the permitting process for carbon management projects, as mandated by the recently enacted Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (USE IT) Act.

To reach the president’s ambitious domestic climate goal of net-zero emissions economywide by 2050, the United States will likely need to capture, transport, and permanently geologically store large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) The Coalition urges CEQ to establish these task forces in short order to ensure the regulatory framework enables efficient, orderly, and responsible deployment of carbon management projects and infrastructure.

The Carbon Capture Coalition has long-supported rigorous safety design, inspection and maintenance protocols associated with CO2 capture, transport and storage infrastructure. To that end, the Coalition supported the USE IT Act, contributing to and endorsing the legislation in 2018. The USE IT Act was enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

An area of particular focus for the task forces should be CO2 transport infrastructure. Multiple analyses have found that 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/or permanent storage. CO2 pipelines have operated in the United States for nearly 50 years and have a strong safety record. However, in anticipation of an expanding CO2 pipeline network, we must make sure the regulatory framework enables efficient permitting while also ensuring CO2 pipelines are designed, constructed, managed and maintained at standards delivering the highest levels of reliability and safety.

To achieve the necessary deployment of carbon management technologies in the timeframe needed to meet climate goals, it is imperative that the public has confidence in the safety of CO2 pipelines. These task forces provide a timely opportunity to address this need and the Coalition recommends that task forces be inclusive of a broad spectrum of interests representing federal, state, local and tribal governments, affected communities, industry, NGOs, labor and other stakeholders. It is essential that task force members have diverse knowledge of pipeline infrastructure that may include regulation, operation, maintenance, safety, siting and other applicable issues. The Coalition stands ready to work with CEQ to provide resources or expertise to support the work of the task forces.