Coal Tattoo

No details yet on Manchin’s carbon capture bill

A couple of folks have e-mailed me to ask for details on Gov. Joe Manchin’s bill to regulate carbon capture and sequestration in West Virginia.

I haven’t seen the legislation, and the governor’s office said this afternoon they weren’t ready to release it publicly yet.

Recall that in his State of the State address, Manchin said he planned legislation to”establish regulations for monitoring carbon sequestration sites and clarify ownership of the space in which the carbon is stored.”

The governor added:

Carbon sequestration is not the only solution to controlling power plant emissions, but we should explore its potential.

It will be interesting to see how Manchin’s bill address issues such as liability protections that some in industry want to protect them from lawsuits should carbon dioxide that is pumped underground somehow escape and harm nearby residents.

These and other concerns have already generated some controversy over a Department of Environmental Protection permit for a small-scale carbon sequestration project at one of AEP’s plants over in Mason County.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working on draft rules on this subject. For more background, I suggest this from the Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as some of the presentations on the subject at energy summits held in 2007 and 2008 by Manchin’s administration.

Last year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that the federal government had yet to take a variety of steps needed to clear up regulatory and legal uncertainties about carbon sequestration.