WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement after the Biden administration’s U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) unnecessarily extended the public comment period an extra 30 days. This announcement comes more than a month and a half after the public comment period closed on July 3, 2023. EPA has informed Louisiana elected officials a public comment period extension is needed because of the passage of carbon capture laws in the state legislature. However, these laws were passed early in the initial comment period and prior to the unprecedented 3-day public hearing in Baton Rouge on Louisiana’s Class VI primacy application.
“The Biden administration EPA continues its hypocritical warpath in Louisiana,” said Dr. Cassidy.“Instead of acting in good faith to enable Louisiana’s ability to capture and store carbon, bringing about the next phase of job creation and economic development in our state, they are stonewalling us once again. This delay makes it clear the EPA is looking for a problem with Louisiana’s primacy application that doesn’t exist.”
In April, EPA announced they intend to grant Louisiana the authority to permit, site, and provide oversight of carbon storage wells in the state. The long-awaited concession from the EPA will allow 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).
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.
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.