Ensuring Successful Carbon Capture and Storage Deployment

Though I predict climate change legislation will not pass in 2010, it will come to pass, most likely beginning with a utility sector cap.  Thus, it is essential to advance the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in order to curb coal-fired power plant emissions.    

State policymakers can play a key role in advancing CCS—and ensuring appropriate measures are in place to guarantee successful deployment-- by considering the following when drafting CCS legislation:

1. Define pore-space ownership (i.e. who owns the subsurface area where CO2 will be stored);
2. Establish liability limits;
3. Provide incentives such as cost-recovery and property and income tax breaks;
4. Facilitate pipeline development and siting;
5. Determine appropriate oversight agency; and
6. Encourage partial capture.

By proactively addressing these measures prior to cap and trade legislation, states can ensure the policy infrastructure is in place to successfully support the deployment of CCS technology when mandatory limits on greenhouse gases come into effect.