Article: CA State Senator Floats Bill Requiring Carbon Sequestration Regulatory Framework

 

 CA State Senator Floats Bill Requiring Carbon Sequestration Regulatory Framework (From: http://insideepa.com/)  

 

(Feb 25 2011) A state senator has introduced a “spot” bill that would require the state to establish a set of regulations for the permitting and operation of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects, which in part responds to industry complaints that current state statute is limited and confusing and may be delaying projects.


CCS is considered critical to achieving long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, because it could substantially reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a variety of facilities, including power plants and refineries.


The bill, SB 669 by Sen. Michael Rubio (D-East Bakersfield), does not yet contain any details about what the regulations would entail or which state agencies would be involved. “This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation establishing a regulatory framework for the permitting and operation of carbon capture and geologic storage projects,” the bill states. The measure is sponsored by the California CCS Coalition, whose members include Aera Energy, Chevron, Clean Energy Systems, Hydrogen Energy California, Sempra Energy Utilities, Southern California Edison, Shell and the Western States Petroleum Association, according to the group’s website.


There are several proposed CCS projects in the state, including a project by Hydrogen Energy California that intends to sequester 90% of its GHG emissions, which would be created by the processing of petroleum coke and coal into hydrogen to generate electricity. Representatives of this project for the past two years have complained that California’s lack of a clear regulatory framework for CCS projects is hindering advancement of their facility.


One of the problems is that there currently is no clear delegation to a state agency of regulatory authority for CCS projects, officials acknowledge. Further, state statute does not cover important issues related to CCS projects, such as long-term liability and air monitoring, reporting and verification. As a result, state officials are struggling to determine if they can legally permit the projects under current statute.


A source with the California CCS Coalition said members of the group are currently working with key stakeholders to draft the details of the bill, which are expected to soon be reflected in amendments.








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