HARRISBURG – Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) said an informational briefing today about Pennsylvania’s potential as a carbon capture, utilization and storage hub left him feeling optimistic about the potential of this technology.
Yaw, as chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, invited officials from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, as well as the carbon capture and storage business opportunity manager for Shell, to discuss the region’s promise as a premier hub for both carbon capture and clean hydrogen.
“I think we accomplished what we intended and that was to bring the issue to the forefront and start some dialogue,” Yaw said. “At least now we have some idea about the questions we must address from the legislative perspective. It was very informative.”
Earlier this year, Yaw 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.
“These technologies offer us a reasonable path forward to tackle greenhouse gas emissions without crippling our economy,” Yaw said. “I heard a lot of encouraging things today that reaffirm my belief that Pennsylvania can be a leader in this space. It will require a lot of regulatory precision of course, but if done right, it would be a gamechanger.”
CONTACT: Nick Troutman, 717-787-3280