Institute Holds Briefing in California’s State Capitol

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The State of California is the most populous in the US, with more residents than Canada and an economy about the same size as France. While the state has long been known for its progressive environmental and climate policies, those policies have not provided much official encouragement for the adoption of CCS.

That may be changing in the coming months, as the state’s powerful Air Resources Board (ARB) is about to undertake a rulemaking that would create a quantification methodology that would allow CO2 captured to qualify under the state’s existing low-carbon fuel standard and “cap and trade” programs. Since early this year, the Global CCS Institute has been working with its members and other stakeholders to advise California’s ARB staff on this rulemaking.

Recently, the Institute held a briefing on CCS for the state’s legislators at the state’s historic capitol building in Sacramento. Jeffrey Bobeck, who moderated the discussion, said the state has a great opportunity to create conditions to attract future CCS projects to the state. “California has very aggressive climate policies, and CCS can play an important role in helping the state to meet its goals,” Bobeck said.

The briefing, entitled “CCS: An Imperative for California’s Climate Goals,” was designed to offer a vision both of how CCS is working around the world, and how it can factor into the state’s climate change plans. Keynote speaker and former senior US Department of Energy official Dr Julio Friedmann said that carbon capture technologies would help the state, “to move more quickly on climate goals, at lower cost, and with great advantages for the California economy. But that requires deployment of CCS, and deployment requires policies.”

A panel of non-governmental organization experts included representatives from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Institute member the Great Plains Institute (GPI). GPI Vice President Doug Scott, himself a former state official, described the efforts of a GPE-led coalition of 15 states to cooperate and promote CCS.

The second panel focused on future technology and its potential applicability to California, with a closing address by Shell Global CCS Manager, Chris Rathbun. Rathbun said Shell’s strategy for CCS around the world included “enabling market mechanisms” that include “both societal and government support.”

Bobeck said that the Institute is committed to serving as a resource for the California government as it considers how CCS fits into the state’s climate plans. He said, “The state has an enormous opportunity that promises both environmental and economic benefits, and ARB’s actions will set the tone for CCS for years to come.”


Video of the briefing is available here