ExxonMobil Carbon Capture Project In Montana Draws Public Criticism

ExxonMobil Carbon Capture Project In Montana Draws Public Criticism - Carbon Herald
Image by nancygebhardt from Pixabay

The Snowy River Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Project in Eastern Montana, an ambitious carbon capture and storage (CCS) endeavor by a subsidiary of ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), is facing criticism during the public comment period by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Input is being sought from stakeholders until March 18, with two meetings scheduled for March 5 and March 6.

Spanning 110,000 acres beneath the surface between Ekalaka and the Montana-Wyoming border, the Snowy River project aims to inject around 150 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from undisclosed sources into a subsurface rock formation over two decades.

While ExxonMobil seeks to address environmental concerns and the evolving energy landscape, critics from environmental groups worry about potential hazards related to the project, according to local newspaper Ravalli Republic.

These concerns include groundwater contamination, threats to wildlife, risks to local agriculture, and the possibility of CO2 leaks triggered by seismic activity.

Relevant: Alberta First Nations Voice Concerns Over Carbon Storage Plans

The project primarily utilizes public lands, aligning with the BLM’s 2022 strategy to incorporate carbon storage as part of climate change mitigation efforts.

However, some stakeholders, like the Alliance for the Wild Rockies (AWR), have expressed skepticism, urging for a comprehensive environmental impact study to address potential risks adequately.

“They basically said they had given up on reducing carbon and they were going to focus on carbon capture instead,” Michael Garrity of the AWR was quoted as saying by Ravalli Republic.

ExxonMobil’s interest in carbon capture stems from its acquisition of Denbury, a company with expertise in this field, in late 2023.

The Snowy River project echoes previous carbon capture initiatives in the region, such as the Belle Creek project, indicating a longstanding focus on carbon management.

Read more: Exxon Completes Acquisition Of Carbon Capture Leader Denbury For $4.9 Billion

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