U.S. Carbon Capture Bill Fails In First Committee Voting

U.S. Carbon Capture Bill Fails In First Committee Voting - Carbon Herald
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U.S. legislation targeting carbon capture, specifically focused on geological sequestration, faced a significant setback as a proposed Senate bill failed to advance past the initial committee, New Mexico Political Report reported Wednesday.

The bill, SB 215, aimed to establish regulations for carbon sequestration, including determining ownership of pore space where carbon dioxide (CO2) would be stored underground.

Sponsored by Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington, and Rep. Meredith Dixon, D-Albuquerque, the bill was tabled by an 8-1 vote in the Senate Conservation Committee.

This follows the recent collapse of a major carbon capture initiative involving the retrofitting of the San Juan Generating Station.

While proponents argue for the necessity of carbon capture in combatting climate change, critics like Sen. Joseph Cervantes raised concerns about the bill’s ambition for a short legislative session.

Even if it had passed this committee, further amendments were deemed necessary for clearance in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The failure of SB 215 adds to the challenges facing carbon capture efforts, despite increased interest and funding from initiatives like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

However, community support remains a significant obstacle, with environmental advocates cautioning against the technology’s efficacy and its potential to prolong reliance on fossil fuels.

Relevant: Global CCS Institute Releases New 2023 Carbon Capture Report

Direct air capture, a key component of carbon capture, faces numerous hurdles including high energy requirements and costs.

Additionally, concerns were raised during the hearing regarding the potential environmental impacts and the long-term implications for New Mexico’s energy landscape.

Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, expressed reservations about New Mexico becoming a testing ground for unproven technologies, citing past environmental damage caused by industries such as uranium mining and oil extraction.

These concerns reflect broader debates surrounding the role of carbon capture in achieving climate goals and its impact on local communities and environments.

Read more: New Mexico Carbon Sequestration Bill Moving Forward

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