Exxon has received the Bureau of Land Management’s approval to construct a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project on federal lands in Wyoming. This makes Exxon the first-ever private company to build underground infrastructure and store carbon on federal lands.
Wyoming offers ideal conditions to deploy CCS as the state has both significant fossil fuel resources and good carbon storage capabilities. Last February, Exxon decided to expand its CCS capabilities at the company’s Wyoming site – LaBarge – which has captured more carbon than any other facility globally.
The project proposes to capture about 60 million cubic feet of CO2, or what equals the emissions from 363,429 cars.
“This project is a prime example of how the BLM can work together with industry leaders to combat climate change,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Andrew Archuleta. “Projects like this will allow the BLM to play a part in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.”
Wyoming has been a leading coal producer for decades and in 2020 accounted for about two-thirds of all coal mined in the U.S. The state is also the country’s ninth largest natural gas producer (3% of domestic production). Using CCS would allow Wyoming to continue to offer affordable and reliable energy, while also advancing sustainability goals.
To meet Paris Agreement targets, the U.S. would have to capture and store 1.15 billion metric tons of carbon, Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm has said. In the past 10 years, investments in technology have significantly increased, with the government offering tax credits and other financial tools to aid its advancement. Over $7 billion in federal funds have been directed toward companies that specialize in CCS technology since 2010.