A Senate committee in Indiana voted down a passage of Senate Bill 247, which would have required local government approval of CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) projects. In a 4 to 7 vote, the Senate Committee on Environmental Affairs voted against the part of the bill that would have required approval of counties, cities, and towns to move forward with CCS projects, saying it would be an “extra level of bureaucracy.”
The Association of Indiana Counties supported the bill, claiming that local input was needed to gain support for a potential CCS project in Benton County.
BP is trying to establish a carbon capture and sequestration project in Benton County, which would store CO2 from the company’s Whiting Refinery in Lake County.
Sen. Rick Niemeyer, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environmental Affairs, said Senate Bill 247 was proposed as a direct result of BP’s intentions.
“The company came in and did some work there, some soil testing and seismic testing, and it really was an uproar a little bit in Benton County because people didn’t know what was going on,” he said, adding that the bill would have helped answer the community’s questions and concerns.
Senate Bill 247 aimed to require all CCS projects to get approval from the local government where the CO2 would be sequestered.
The Northwest Indiana Forum, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and trade organizations for manufacturers and the oil and gas sector all opposed Senate Bill 247. They said the law would create a layer of bureaucracy that would allow counties to block projects.