The Carbon Storage Future of Public Lands
40 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2021 Last revised: 28 Jun 2021
Date Written: May 1, 2021
To meet the climate and energy goals set forth by the Biden Administration and the Paris Agreement, the United States must dramatically reduce carbon emissions. Use of public lands for carbon dioxide removal activities, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), has the potential to advance carbon reduction goals and concurrently provide economic revitalization opportunities to communities dependent on fossil industries on public land. Current federal law presents numerous challenges and opportunities associated with utilization of federal pore space for CCUS. Although federal grant programs and tax incentives encourage deployment of CCUS technologies, legal and land-management issues related to public lands have received comparatively little legislative or agency attention. This essay seeks to bring attention to land-management aspects of geologic storage and to broaden conversations regarding pathways to encourage CCUS technology deployment on federal lands. The authors identify opportunities for courts, agencies, and Congress to address uncertainties related to federal pore space and promote cooperation and coordination with state agencies.
Keywords: public lands, carbon capture, pore space, environmental law, energy law, climate law, land management
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