By Liz Hampton
Reuters, Feb. 9, 2022
Feb 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving too slowly to allow states to permit and oversee carbon-reduction projects, according to Louisiana’s governor, slowing millions of dollars in investments designed to tackle greenhouse gas reduction.
Louisiana and other top oil-producing states say they can speed up permitting of carbon sequestration projects if allowed to handle decisions that currently fall under the EPA. There are dozens of these projects with multi-million dollar price tags proposed by energy firms around the United States.
Developers would benefit from broadening permitting of so-called Class VI carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) wells to states, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in a letter last month to EPA Administrator Michael Regan seen by Reuters. The process has lacked clarity and a clear timeline, Edwards wrote.
“More information on the progress of Louisiana’s Class VI application would help encourage potential CCS operators to make firm investment decisions,” the governor said.
Offshore oil producers Talos Energy Inc (TALO.N), Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N) and gas-exporter Sempra Infrastructure have proposed Louisiana carbon sequestration projects. The state’s energy regulator has received little information from the EPA on the transfer timeline or process, a spokesperson said on Thursday.
“We are now seeing concepts begin to turn into investment decisions – but a recurring question is if and when Louisiana will receive primacy,” or taking over permits and regulation from the EPA, Edwards wrote in a letter dated Jan. 18.
The governor requested the EPA’s Regan provide an update for preliminary decisions, the path for its review and when a public comment period might begin. Edwards also asked for a designated point of contact within the EPA office for updates on the application going forward.
The EPA said on Thursday it was working on reviewing Louisiana’s Class VI primacy application, but did not have a specific timeline for when the review would be complete.
Read the full article on Reuters.