The White House CCS policy exposes the gaps in environmental justice

The White House has issued guidelines on how to promote carbon capture and storage in a “responsible” way, despite strong opposition from environmentalists and some green groups.

A document prepared by the Environmental Protection Council and published today Federal RegisterIncludes recommendations for deploying CCS to address the concerns of local communities and tribes.

The 13-page directive calls on federal agencies to take various measures, including “studying the proposed outcome.” [carbon capture, utilization and storage] Avoid actions at the beginning of the planning process, on potential host communities and on “overloaded and under-protected communities”.

“This policy is intended to address opportunities for clarification and improvement to ensure this. [carbon capture, utilization and storage] Public health, environmental and economic fidelity is measured in a timely manner, ”the CEQ document states.

CEQ Chair Brenda Malory said in a statement: “As industries move rapidly to adopt and deploy carbon capture technologies, federal agencies can play a key role in ensuring that projects are implemented properly.”

CEQ instructions as a White House initiative to curb greenhouse gas emissions from industry [carbon capture, utilization and storage] It can be a powerful tool to deal with the crisis, the potential benefits and impacts of potential projects vary widely ”and require careful planning (Climate, February 15).

Some environmentalists said yesterday that they believe the CCS is a false solution to climate change.

“I’m glad to see the CEQ advocate listening to the community, but again, your suggestions are ideas that we have been hearing for decades and should follow, but they will never follow,” said Peggy Shepard. , Co-founder and CEO of WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

Shepard, one of the chairpersons of the White House Environmental Advisory Council (WHEJAC), spoke privately yesterday.

The council was formed last year by an executive order, and the CEQ and White House Council on Environmental Justice recommend that they “increase the federal government’s efforts to address environmental injustice,” according to the EPA website.

Shepard said the CCS directive “says a lot about responsible deployment, but effective deployment requires efficient licensing, efficient monitoring, evaluation and deployment at the beginning, and requires significant public health, and then measures to protect public health and the environment.”

Last year, WHEJAC released a report listing carbon footage and direct air capture as “Types of projects that do not benefit a community” (Energywire, May 17, 2021).

Opposition groups called for more than $ 1 billion in funding for nine carbon footage projects, but only three were completed (Energywire, December 21, 2021).

Proponents of carbon footprint have denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning carbon dioxide emissions have been made more than once.

In a statement last month, the Group of Carbon Coalition, a group of more than 80 businesses, unions and think tanks, said the GAO report “should not be taken as an excuse to return more investment on climate-essential carbon management technologies.” The group said in a statement yesterday: “We look forward to providing further feedback to CEQ on common interest issues.”

In announcing the directive, CEQ echoed the Council’s report on carbon emissions released in June, which states that the United States must maintain and store large amounts of carbon in order to achieve a mid-century net-zero emissions economy.

According to Tyson Slocom, director of the Citizens’ Energy Program, CEQ does not provide detailed information on how CEQ agencies can “successfully engage and develop disadvantaged communities” and therefore have a meaningful voice in the regulatory process.

“At this time, the Biden administration should develop a list of engagement plans for underprivileged communities, and this directive has nothing to do with it,” Slocom said in an interview.

Slocum says it is looking for information on how agencies can engage communities and ensure that the carbon footprint project meets the needs of the community.

“Can you get the resources you need to make sure this does not hurt your community? And that is something that is not in this guide,” Slock said.

In addition to public engagement, the White House’s guidelines include further research into carbon emissions in US air quality and increased transparency in CO2 storage.

Analysts at ClearView Energy Partners LLC said in a study that Benedict’s management was still “working with a large group of Democrats” while leading Congress to look at carbon offsets as a “national policy issue.” He prefers to give up fossil fuels altogether.

“To address the concerns of green-leaning partners, we believe CEQ has put in place a process that requires extensive stakeholder engagement, extensive (programmatic) environmental assessment, and in-depth process. [lifecycle greenhouse gas] Accounting, ”ClearView notes.

“Theoretically, this approach could create a more sustainable long-term consensus-based policy,” he said, adding that such policies could delay legislation in practice.

CEQ requests comments on the policy by March 18th.

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