Letter to LA Senator Cassidy - Prioritize Louisianans health & safety not your fossil fuel backed CCS agenda
On September 17, 2021, the LDNR submitted its application to EPA for permitting authority. Only two states, Wyoming and North Dakota, have been granted permitting authority by the EPA after a considerably longer review time than Senator Cassidy wants for the LDNR. Neither of those states have LDNR’s poor track record in managing underground wells.
Projects described as carbon capture and storage or CCS are being promoted by the oil and gas industry with the promise of collecting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from an industrial facility, transporting the CO2 by pipeline, and burying it underground. Such promises have not come true as 80 percent of CCS projects around the world have failed.
The LDNR, due to its deliberately weak enabling legislation, lacks the financial and human resources to consistently and rigorously apply the necessary permitting, monitoring, and enforcement standards on polluting industries. If LDNR is granted permitting authority over CCS projects, it would not have the capacity to protect Louisiana from becoming an underground dumping ground for pollution and groundwater contamination. Additionally, under LDNR’s existing permitting authority, polluting companies are allowed to withhold information from their permits that they consider confidential business information. This secrecy would extend to CCS projects if LDNR’s application is approved.
Senator Cassidy says “Louisiana is the ideal location to store carbon underground.” His appalling message would continue to sacrifice mostly Black, Brown and Indigenous communities to more toxic and hazardous industrial waste. Cassidy’s coercive action against the EPA puts the people of Louisiana at risk and leaves all Americans without the team needed at EPA to deliver environmental justice and tackle climate change.
Monique Harden, Assistant Director of Law and Policy at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, issued the following statement:
“Senator Cassidy is a doctor, but our health and safety in Louisiana are not his priority. He should let the EPA do its job instead of pressuring the agency to rush its decision on the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ application to oversee inherently hazardous projects.”
Katlyn Schmitt, Policy Analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform, issued the following statement:
“First, there are no regulations on capturing CO2 from an oil or gas facility. Second, CO2 is highly corrosive and can cause pipeline leaks. And last, there is no proof of so-called ‘permanent’ storage of injected carbon dioxide. Any stored carbon dioxide requires containment that can last for thousands of years. There are too many risks, pathways for release, and uncertainties associated with this relatively new and unproven technology. However, what is proven is that LDNR lacks the necessary capacity and resources to meaningfully regulate polluting industries and hold them accountable.”