LWF comments on local impacts of carbon capture and sequestration

Updated (1/29/24): The CCS Task Force held another meeting on January 18, 2024. A link to that meeting has been added to the end of this blog.

Louisiana Wildlife Federation submitted comments to the Task Force on Local Impacts of CCS. The task force was established during the 2023 Regular Session (SR 179) to make recommendations to the Louisiana Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment regarding local impacts of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects.

LWF embraces the science that industrial plants burning fossil fuels is a top source of carbon pollution and that cutting these emissions can improve air quality and help fight climate change while the state transitions to cleaner sources of energy. We acknowledge that CCS projects and the expansion of blue hydrogen production may advance the federal and state emissions reduction goals in the short term as the world transitions to more renewable energy production. LWF believes that CCS is an effective process when properly regulated and monitored for potential adverse impacts on the public and its natural resources.

Although LWF generally supports CCS as a means of emissions reduction, we do not support such projects in sensitive ecosystems like Lake Maurepas. While Louisiana may have adequate subsurface conditions for CCS projects, regulators must consider site-specific surface impacts to habitat and surrounding communities already overburdened by the impacts of industry. Not all sites with proper underground pore space are fitting for such projects.

LWF does not support such a project in Lake Maurepas due to its unique ecologically important estuarine system for which adequate mitigation of damage cannot be guaranteed, and for which its scenic value and recreational use would be greatly diminished.

The letter to the task force further highlights key concerns to ensure proper regulation now that Louisiana has been approved for Class VI primacy from the Environmental Protection Agency. Those concern involve site selection, public input, and regulatory staff capacity.

While the state can assert its commitment to strong enforcement and stricter rules, will it work independently to ensure those companies that are permitted to drill Class VI wells take responsibility for all permitted activities? When the state through the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, the Governor and the Legislature all cite Class VI wells as the energy future, the commitments of today must be upheld by the government of tomorrow.

We believe strongly that CCS should only advance in Louisiana under a robust regulatory structure that is informed by science and past experience, meaningful public engagement, and takes into consideration the impact of industrial activity on overburdened communities.

The state must consider local input and employ rigorous cost-benefit analyses to ensure the state’s assets are protected from irreversible ecological damage and public access to healthy recreational opportunities of our Sportsman’s Paradise are preserved for residents and future generations to enjoy.

The Task Force will submit a final report to the Senate and House Natural Resource Committees on or before February 15, 2024.

If you would like to make comments to the task force, you may submit those by email to snatr@legis.la.gov or provide comments in person at the next task force meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 1:00 pm (see agenda). You can watch the meeting live on the Louisiana Legislature website.

Read LWF’s full comments to the task force.



LWF Resolution on Carbon Capture and Sequestration
List of task force members
Recording of past task force meetings:

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