Although SB 66, which would have addressed the issue of ownership of geologic storage space, was recently tabled in committee, there now there appears to be more legislation related to CCS in the pipeline. According to the Billings Gazette, two bills are forthcoming, one with the support of the Governor and the other with the support of state Republicans.

The Governor's bill will state that underground "pore space" would be owned by the state, which would then issue permits to allow the use of the pore space. The bill would also require producers of CO2, including owners of coal-fired power plants, to pay licensed CCS operators to store the CO2 under ground. Alternatively, the CO2 could be used in enhanced oil recovery projects. In either event, the injectors of CO2 could be required to compensate surface owners for access.

Details on the alternative bill to be proposed by state Republicans are not yet known.