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Climate change, carbon sequestration, and property rights
Climate change, carbon sequestration, and property rights

23rd February 2010

Organisation(s): University of Illinois

Topic(s): Carbon capture, Law and regulation, Policy, Use and storage (CCUS)

This technology, known as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), could provide deep emission cuts, particularly from coal power generation, on a worldwide basis. In order to widely deploy this technology, future CCS operators must be able to access millions of acres of deep subsurface “pore space” roughly a kilometer below the earth’s surface to sequester the CO2 for hundreds to thousands of years. This Article explores questions relat-ing to ownership of subsurface pore space, physical takings, regulato-ry takings, and just compensation that will necessarily accompany the implementation of CCS in the United States. In order to accommo-date the full range of property rights and takings issues that will arise with CCS, this Article proposes a regulatory framework based in part on the Natural Gas Act to address these issues in connection with subsurface CO2 sequestration.

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