The state of Indiana has just passed a bill that will allow the underground storage of CO2 for companies that capture their carbon emissions.
It was a narrow pass, as not everyone agreed with the bill and there are still strong concerns surrounding the safety of carbon storage.
Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) spoke in favor of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology as the ‘most logical solution’ to climate change and reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In support of the bill, Glick claimed the implementation of CCS would be to everyone’s benefit.
Those opposed to the bill, on the other hand, expressed strong concerns regarding property rights.
Under the new bill, companies will be required to obtain permission from at least 70% of landowners to exercise eminent domain.
However, the landowners will not be entitled to sue such companies for punitive damages, as long as the latter have complied with their permits.
Sen. Rick Niemeyer (R-Lowell) was among the lawmakers to speak out against carbon capture and storage, claiming it is not yet a proven technology in Indiana.
On behalf of local farmers, he said property owners are greatly worried about their property rights.
As an example of the questionable status of carbon capture as a viable climate solution, the state pilot project with Wabash Valley Resources LLC in Terre Haute was brought up.
There has been no forward movement on this project in the last three years that would inspire confidence in CCS critics.
Furthermore, environmentalists have long been warning of the potential risk of water contamination and earthquakes in the event of leakages.
Now as per the new bill, as soon as the underground CO2 storage is sealed, all liability for the stored carbon will be assumed by the state, which is yet another controversial point for Indiana’s lawmakers.