A blue state asks: Is carbon capture part of climate agenda?

Read the full story from E&E News.

Illinois’ landmark climate law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2021 made it clear that renewable energy and electric vehicles would be centerpieces of efforts to eliminate fossil fuels from the state’s economy.

Less clear, however, is whether Pritzker and Illinois’ Democratic-led General Assembly are willing to embrace carbon capture — a third rail of climate politics — as a complementary solution.

While carbon capture technology and its promises aren’t new, the state has only recently faced the reality of companies seeking permits for pipelines to transport millions of tons of liquefied carbon dioxide from dozens of ethanol and fertilizer plants across the region. The two pipelines proposed so far would each cross hundreds of miles of rural landscape, raising a raft of legal and policy questions — and public pushback…

The potential for hosting future carbon sequestration projects led the General Assembly to pass a law two years ago, during the climate bill debate, requiring a study of the potential for carbon capture to help the state meet its climate goals.

The study by scientists at the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, was overseen by a government advisory committee that included Williams. Conducted at the request of the Legislature, the report concluded that carbon capture, utilization and sequestration “could play an important role in achieving the state’s decarbonization goals and equitable clean energy workforce development.”

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