WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement on Louisiana securing Class VI primacy—the authority to permit, site, and provide oversight of carbon storage wells in the state.
“Louisiana worked to receive the authority to regulate capturing and storing carbon,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This unlocks the next phase of job creation and economic development in Louisiana. It also creates a competitive advantage compared to other states while protecting the environment.”
The long-awaited application approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows Louisiana to continue leading the country in the expansion of new, lower-pollution technologies such as carbon capture, hydrogen, and direct air capture. It also positions Louisiana to access funding dedicated to carbon capture in Cassidy’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Cassidy has led a two-year push for the EPA to allow Louisiana to invest in carbon storage wells, meeting resistance from the Biden administration. He penned an op-ed in the American Press highlighting the need for Louisiana to secure the ability Class VI primacy—state-led enforcement for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide.
At a recent Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing Cassidy pressed Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Secretary David Turk on Louisiana’s stalled application for Class VI primacy. Cassidy asked what the Department of Energy can do to shake loose Louisiana’s Class VI primacy application—which was submitted in April 2021—from the federal government.
In April, EPA announced they intend to grant Louisiana the authority to permit, site, and provide oversight of carbon storage wells in the state. EPA then unnecessarily extended the public comment period an extra 30 days. The announcement came more than a month and a half after the public comment period closed on July 3, 2023. Of the 41,622 total comments submitted to the EPA in the initial comment period, the EPA has deemed just over 400 as substantial comments. The vast majority of public comments have been supportive of Class VI primacy in Louisiana.