State Business Groups Urge EPA to Speed Up Permitting for Carbon Capture Projects

Letter adds to growing, bipartisan efforts to streamline permitting backlog at EPA for carbon storage projects and address delays in processing state primacy applications

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry joined seven business groups representing a diverse cross-section of industry in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, Texas, and New Mexico in sending a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan calling for the expeditious approval of state primacy applications for Class VI injection wells. In addition to the PA Chamber, the groups include the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council; Chemical Industry Council of Illinois; Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; New Mexico Chamber of Commerce; Texas Economic Development Council; Greater Houston Partnership; and the West Virginia Manufacturers Association.

While carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), a technology that would help reduce emissions from hard-to-abate industries and spur economic growth, has been given full support from the Biden Administration, the permitting process for CO2 injection wells, also known as Class VI wells, has been stagnant since the Inflation Reduction Act was approved. Similarly, states requesting primacy over Class VI wells permitting have faced significant delays in their applications before the EPA, despite its ability to speed up the deployment of CCS.

“As organizations representing tens of thousands of businesses in our states, we’re continuously hearing that our members want to innovate and invest in carbon capture and sequestration – but that can’t happen unless the permitting backlog at the EPA is addressed,” said Luke Bernstein, President and CEO of the PA Chamber. “We appreciate the Biden Administration’s public declarations and funding commitments to support the growing CCS industry. Now, it’s time to put those words into action, approve primacy applications for Class VI injection wells, and deliver the economic and emission reduction opportunities that will come with it.”

“PCIC members play a critical role in every aspect of modern life while bringing innovative sustainable solutions that benefit our environment,” added Steven Kratz, President of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council. “Advancing investments in hydrogen and carbon capture technology is an opportunity for industry and regulators to find common ground to achieve a mutually desired energy future.”

Key excerpts from the letter include:

  • “Our members are collectively pursuing billions of dollars in new investments in carbon capture and sequestration, which will provide secure, good-paying jobs and generate new revenue streams for communities across the country.”
  • “We join the growing, bipartisan chorus of stakeholders and policymakers who are calling attention to this lack of movement that is obstructing needed investments in CCS.”
  • “Certainty and predictability are key factors businesses and producers need to make definitive investments in CCS technology, and that starts with a reasonable timeline for primacy and permitting decisions.”
  • “Without immediate improvement, the current Class VI permitting timeline will continue to serve as a barrier to meeting emission reduction goals – including the ones the Biden Administration has set – while discouraging much-needed infrastructure investments across the country.”

You can read the full letter here.

Today’s letter adds to the growing bipartisan calls for the EPA to address this concern. Earlier this month business groups and trade organizations in Louisiana also sent a letter to EPA asking for answers on their state’s primacy application, which was submitted more than 500 days ago, while Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards sent a similar letter expressing frustration on the delay’s effect in stunting investment in the state.

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