Legislation will help state, nation fight climate change by becoming a leader in the effort to capture and store emissions of carbon dioxide, while boosting innovation
Harrisburg – Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) has circulated a co-sponsorship memo to establish the Pennsylvania Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide Act.
The legislation would create a legal and regulatory framework for carbon dioxide capture and sequestration (CCS) projects in the state. Currently, only the federal Environmental Protection Agency claims authority for CCS, a process that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere emitted from sources, like coal-fired power plants and other industrial sites, for reuse or storage underground.
The Great Plains Institute, using data from a 2009 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report, estimates the state could store about 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide underground. This is equivalent to the level of greenhouse gases emitted from 517 million gas-powered passenger vehicles annually, according to the EPA.
“This legislation is a proactive step to secure Pennsylvania’s future as a hub for carbon capture and sequestration,” Yaw said. “It’s a pragmatic solution to a problem that we all want to solve – reducing our carbon emissions without crippling the reliability of our existing power grid.”
The legislation would:
- Establish legislative intent to facilitate carbon capture in Pennsylvania;
- Designate property rights around storage sites in deep geologic formations;
- Assign state regulatory authority of CCS facilities in Pennsylvania;
- Specify the regulatory and permitting process within the existing federal structure; and
- Create a cash fund sustaining regulatory operations, minimizing impact to taxpayers.
“Pennsylvania is uniquely qualified to develop a vast CCS network, thanks to our robust energy industry and extensive geological formations,” Yaw said. “We should act now to establish a solid regulatory framework that will attract investment and development and economic opportunity for decades to come.”
CONTACT: Nick Troutman, 717-787-3280