As we mentioned in a recent blog post, carbon capture and storage momentum continues to build. Last week, California’s Carbon Capture and Storage Review Panel released its findings and recommendations for resolving legal, regulatory and financial issues that currently impede the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the state. Among the key findings are:

  • There is a public benefit from long-term geologic storage of carbon dioxide as a strategy for reducing GHG emissions to the atmosphere.
  • Technology exists that can safely and effectively capture, transport and storage CO2 from power plants and other large industrial facilities.
  • There is a need for clear rules under AB32 regarding the treatment of CO2 emissions reductions from CCS projects.
  • There is a need for clear, efficient, and consistent regulatory requirements and authority for permitting all phases of CCS projects in California, including CO2 capture, transport, and storage.

Among others, the CCS Review Panel recommends that the state:

  • Recognize CO2 emission reductions achieved through CCS satisfy California’s requirements for GHG emission reductions under AB32.
  • Designate specific state regulatory agencies as the lead agencies for different aspects and activities related to CCS.
  • Consider legislation establishing an industry-funded trust fund to manage and be responsible for geologic site operations in the post-closure phase.
  • Declare that the surface owner is the owner of the subsurface “pore space” needed to store CO2.