Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy introduced two bills last week through his Carbon Management and Monetization Bill Package, that create the regulatory framework for CO2 storage in the state. One of the bills focuses on carbon offsets, while the other on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).
“In Alaska, we are blessed with the resources of today, but we’re also blessed with the resources of tomorrow,” said Governor Dunleavy. “With support from the Legislature for our carbon management bill package, we’ll change the conversation about new revenue. We’ve been told by some that we can generate revenue in the billions over 20 years just from our forest lands.”
Regarding carbon capture, the bills, numbered SB 49 and HB 50, will grease the wheels for capturing and transporting carbon dioxide from oil and gas industry sources in Alaska and injecting it in suitable geological formations for CO2 storage, where it can’t escape into the atmosphere.
Alaska is reported to have 50 gigatons of capacity, one of the largest volumes in the world.
The carbon capture bill would create new State authorities that can cover the entire administrative process for projects to work – licensing, leasing, supervision of all engineering activities.
A statewide carbon offset program for forest sequestration within the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will also be created if the bills are enacted. As it stands launching such a program is not allowed and there is now way for state or private initiatives to start.
Opponents have voices some fears about offset programs, but DNR Commissioner-designee John Boyle addressed them by saying: “Carbon offset projects will not prevent mineral development, timber harvests, new oil and gas exploration, or infrastructure development. Land within the carbon offset program area will still be available for hunting, fishing, camping and recreational activities for Alaskans and visitors.”