The False Promise of Carbon Capture as a Climate Solution in Louisiana and Beyond

18 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2021

See all articles by Karen C. Sokol

Karen C. Sokol

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Robert R. M. Verchick

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

David Flores

Center for Progressive Reform

Date Written: September 14, 2021

Abstract

Carbon capture use and storage (“carbon capture”), heavily promoted by the coal, oil, and gas industries, is now at the center of the national climate policy debate. Today when industries burn fossil fuels, the resulting carbon dioxide and methane soars into the atmosphere, traps heat, and contributes to climate breakdown. Using carbon capture technology, industries claim they will recover post-combustion carbon dioxide from their flues and smokestacks and either “store” the gas permanently underground in sedimentary rock or “use” the gas to recover oil or make other products. Proponents claim it’ a win-win —benefitting both the planet and the fossil fuel industry.

This paper shows that carbon capture is not the right choice for Louisiana because the technology would not slow global warming in ways needed to keep the rise in mean global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius — the goal of the United Nations Paris Agreement recently reaffirmed by the Glasgow Climate Pact. Deploying carbon capture in Louisiana would also lead to climate injustice by foisting the risks and burdens of this technology on the state’s historically marginalized communities. Instead, the right choice for Louisiana involves a rapid shift toward energy efficiency and carbon-free energy sources in both industrial and non-industrial sectors of the economy.

Keywords: carbon capture, environmental law, global warming, Paris Agreement, Glasgow Climate Pact

Suggested Citation

Sokol, Karen C. and Verchick, Robert R. M. and Flores, David, The False Promise of Carbon Capture as a Climate Solution in Louisiana and Beyond (September 14, 2021). Center for Progressive Reform (2021), Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Research Paper No. 2021-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3985624 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3985624

Karen C. Sokol (Contact Author)

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law ( email )

7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 901
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
504-861-5593 (Phone)
504-861-5733 (Fax)

Robert R. M. Verchick

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law ( email )

7214 St. Charles Ave., Box 901
Campus Box 901
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

David Flores

Center for Progressive Reform ( email )

455 Massachusetts Ave, NW, #150-513
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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