A legislator in the state of Louisiana is looking to prevent CO2 capture pipeline operators from using eminent domain for their projects.
With the growing number of carbon capture projects that have been proposed around the state, Rep. Robby Carter, D-Amite, wants to make sure landowners do not lose their properties.
To this, Carter has pre-filed a bill for the next Louisiana legislative session that seeks to eliminate eminent domain rights that were granted to companies in 2009 exactly for such pipelines.
And while property rights are certainly at the heart of the bill, safety concerns are also a very strong reason for it.
Environmentalists have been speaking out against carbon capture and the pipelines related to them due to the uncertainty surrounding storage permanence and possible leaks.
“Once you put it in the ground, will it expand back to gas? Cause earthquakes? We don’t know,” said Carter.
Of course, there are those who oppose Carter’s bill, such as Mike Moncla, president of the industry-backed Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, who believes that ending eminent domain will disrupt the development of future CO2 pipelines and carbon capture in Louisiana.
Similar moves to that of Carter have been made on the same grounds as his in other US states, where heated debates have caused a major divide on the subject of carbon pipelines.
Iowa is one example, where both landowners and lawmakers have banded together to oppose pipeline projects that are expected to lay around 2,000 miles of pipe across the state.
Patrick Courreges, a spokesman for the agency that is responsible for granting eminent domain status, shared that no operators have filed notices for the use of eminent domain for CO2 pipelines in Louisiana just yet.