Carbon Capture and Storage: The key to Louisiana’s reliable and sustainable energy future
From Lake Charles to Baton Rouge and out into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the energy industry is engrained into the DNA of Louisiana. And with an increasing emphasis from all corners of the world to reduce carbon emissions and advance toward net-zero goals, technologies like carbon capture and storage offer us the ability to meet climate goals, help keep pace with consumer demand for affordable energy, and create jobs.
Carbon capture and storage, often referred to as CCS, has been recognized globally by nearly 80% of countries as a climate crucial technology and is now included in their long-term strategies to help curb carbon emissions.
So, what is CCS and how does it work? CCS is the process of collecting carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere and storing them under the earth’s surface. This process is particularly beneficial in supporting heavy industrial industries such as cement production, manufacturing, power generation and oil and gas by reducing the number of carbon emissions sent into the environment as byproducts of their necessary operations.
Here in the United States, not only have we seen members of the federal government call for continued research and development into CCS, but we’ve also seen the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the bipartisan infrastructure bill) pass into law last November that earmarked nearly $10 billion in government funding to advance the development of CCS technologies.
Just a short ride from our state’s western border, we are already seeing steps being taken towards building new CCS infrastructure in the greater Houston area. More than a dozen industrial players in the region are working together to development a state-of-the-art $100 million Houston CCS Hub that is projected to help the city remove 100 million metrics tons of carbon a year by 2040.
Projects like the Houston CCS Hub are only the beginning of the development of CCS facilities. According to the International Energy Agency, it is estimated that will need to capture 28 billion tons of carbon globally by 2060 to meet our global climate goals and temperature targets.
More good new around CCS is that, in addition to helping support emission reductions for major sectors of our local economy such as oil and gas, it will also provide new jobs along the way. Studies show that retrofitting a single steel plant with CCS capabilities can help create nearly 3000 construction jobs and 300 full-time employment opportunities.
However, while the framework for advancing CCS technology is well underway, there is still work to do.
Over the next few years, industry stakeholders will continue to work alongside our state and federal government, regulatory bodies, and private industry to support the development of common-sense policies that will allow for the continued development and implementation of CCS. This includes federal policy, like the 45Q federal tax credit, which provides a credit of up to $50 for every ton of carbon captured and stored underground.
Fortunately, we have seen bipartisan support for the 45Q tax credit from lawmakers in Washington, with legislation already introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives that raises the credit and extends the deadline for the construction of qualifying CCS facilities.
As Louisiana’s industrial sector continues to provide jobs and drive our economy forward, there is no doubt that our lawmakers – at all levels of government – should be looking for opportunities to welcome CCS facilities into the Bayou State.
Make no mistake about it, Louisiana has all the tools and experience necessary to be at the forefront of the CCS movement and now is the time to leverage our rich energy history to create the most reliable and sustainable future possible.