House Passes Appropriations Package that Includes Crucial Funding to Scale Storage of CO2

July 24, 2020 | News

The following statement may be attributed to Jessie Stolark, Public Policy & Member Relations Manager of the Carbon Capture Coalition, in response to House passage on July 24, 2020 of H.R. 7612, Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill 2021:

“The U.S. House today passed legislation that will increase funding for EPA programs for oversight of carbon dioxide that is expressly captured for the purposes of secure geologic storage. The Carbon Capture Coalition thanks Interior and Environment Appropriations Chair Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ranking Member David Joyce (R-OH), as well as Representatives Marc Veasey (D-TX), David McKinley (R-WV) and colleagues for their bipartisan recognition of the importance of ensuring adequate federal funding for EPA programs that provide oversight for saline CO2 storage.

The EPA Underground Injection Control program oversees Class VI wells, which are required for CO2 storage in saline reservoirs. It is crucial that appropriations for these programs at EPA increase to meet the anticipated influx of Class VI well applications and the growing number of states seeking primacy to administer these programs. Increased funding for these programs was supported by the Coalition in a March letter to House appropriators.

Of the 30-plus publicly announced carbon capture projects highlighted in recent announcements, it is estimated that half of them will apply for Class VI well permits. The use and geologic storage of CO2 through enhanced oil recovery is regulated under Class II wells; Class VI wells are solely for the purposes of secure storage of CO2 in saline geologic formations. Timeframes required to prepare, submit and review a Class VI well permit application already puts some potential carbon capture projects outside the remaining four-year commence construction window for 45Q. Timing is therefore of the essence, and near-term funding is critical to ensuring that EPA has adequate staffing and resources to conduct necessary reviews.

Increasing EPA and state resources to manage the existing and increased number of Class VI well permits and state primacy applications is essential to scale carbon capture deployment to reduce carbon emissions to meet midcentury climate goals, foster domestic energy and industrial production, and support a high-wage jobs base.”