A bill presented by New Mexico Rep. Meredith Dixon, D-Albuquerque, aimed at providing funds for a carbon capture and sequestration initiative has passed the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee on a 6-4 vote.
It now heads to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee and if ultimately enacted, will provide $2.4 million of state funds so that New Mexico can seek primacy over its Class VI wells.
Primacy would allow it to provide permits for underground storage wells where captured carbon dioxide will be sequestered. If the legislation isn’t set up, New Mexico would have to wait for federal approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward with any projects. Rep. Dixon claims that having the bill will create a faster permitting process, ultimately speeding up the process of reducing emissions.
Those opposed to the carbon sequestration bill in the New Mexico House of Representatives said that providing the funds is unnecessary because of the overlap with $50 million that have already been provided by the federal government for states that want to have primacy over their Class VI wells.
They also shared concerns that carbon capture will allow fossil fuel companies to continue operating in New Mexico without reducing their emissions.