A 2020 article from the Rhodium Group, recommending policies to encourage CCUS shows that one of the most lucrative tax policies for CCUS (the federal tax incentive called 45Q), if made permanent and the cost of CCUS is “low", could ONLY enable about 25 million metric tons of annual CO2 capture capacity in Louisiana by 2050. (It doesn’t use the word ‘only’..ahem)
So, how many metric tons of emissions are we dealing with? Rhodium group also says that in 2019 the industrial emissions of CO2 (combustion and not combustion) in Louisiana were about 139.2 million metric tons. (The total CO2e with all GHGs was 169.97 MMT in 2019). AND, based on their projections using assumptions of industrial growth, the 2030 Louisiana industrial emissions could be 172.8 MMT CO2 (and total CO2e w/all GHG could be 200.14 MMT in 2030).
So, even with billions (trillions?) of federal dollars spent on CCUS (not including whatever state legislators may push to spend in Louisiana taxpayer money) we could only capture around 1/8 of Louisiana emissions by 2050 if they keep up their emissions growth. This alone would cost taxpayers between $875 million - 1.25 billion per year using the 45Q. Keep in mind, this is assuming emissions from the industrial sector don’t continue to grow after 2030.
There is a lot more to say about CCUS. But even analysts looking to encourage CCUS acknowledge that WITH significant incentives the “opportunity” is simply not there to make CCUS a leading solution to deal with the scale of Louisiana’s industrial emissions problem.
Which brings us to the Governor’s Climate Initiatives Task Force. On the off chance that you don’t have multiple hours a week to keep up with the working groups, CCUS is a big part of the conversation. Despite the priorities of the task force to only focus on opportunities that really “get the emissions reductions”, it appears that CCUS is the thing industrial interests are looking at. Even if we fully zero out the power sector and the transportation sector in terms of CO2 emissions, we get to about 75 MMT CO2 emissions. It is true we need to deal with our industrial sector emissions, but CCUS won’t be a silver bullet and must not be where all of our resources, time, and intention are focused.
We’ll be writing more about CCUS and other apparently false solutions so check back here for more soon.