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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LT&C

RANDOLPH: Leading from the front: Louisiana’s opportunity on carbon capture technology

The following guest column was originally submitted to the Alexandria Town Talk by Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Deborah Randolph.

Louisiana has a proud history of being the standard bearer for American energy. And the global shift toward low-carbon energy practices presents a colossal opportunity for our state – and more specifically, CENLA. Central to this transformation is the advancement of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, a critical solution in the battle against climate change and a significant driver for economic growth. 

While our neighbors in Texas and Mississippi are rapidly advancing in this arena, it is imperative that Louisiana not only keeps pace with these states, but avoids unnecessary roadblocks, to ensure we remain an energy leader and don’t lose out on the billions in investments being committed across the region today. 

CCS, a process that captures carbon dioxide emissions from sources like power plants and industrial facilities and stores it underground, is not just a tool for environmental preservation. It is an economic catalyst capable of revitalizing industries, creating jobs, and positioning Louisiana as a leader in the new energy frontier. 

And while much of the energy industry in Louisiana has been historically concentrated along the coast and off-shore, CCS ensures that increased investments by global leaders in the energy space are continually possible in Central Louisiana. 

Our state, with its unique geology, is perfectly positioned to be a leader in CCS. The vast sedimentary basins beneath our lands are ideal for the safe and long-term storage of carbon dioxide. This geologic advantage, combined with our existing infrastructure and expertise in energy production, sets the stage for Louisiana to become a national hub for CCS, a technology that has been in use safely for decades. And of course, these realities – coupled with an overwhelming level of support from across the state – resulted in the EPA finally granting Louisiana primacy just months ago, a demonstration of trust in our ability to regulate this critical industry ourselves. 

The environmental benefits of CCS are clear and compelling. By significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, CCS can help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, preserving our coastlines, protecting our communities from extreme weather events, and ensuring the longevity of our rich natural habitats. But beyond the environmental imperative lies a substantial economic opportunity. The development and deployment of CCS technology demands a skilled workforce, from engineers and geologists to technicians and construction workers. 

Our neighbors understand this. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour recently wrote an op-ed about the importance of CCS for his state. He highlighted the safe and effective nature of the technology, the need for investment to boost the economy, and the important role CCS plays in bringing Mississippi into the energy future. He even praised Louisiana for our work in the CCS space. If we are already seen as a leader in the region, now is not the time to slow our focus or investment in CCS. And it’s certainly not the time for our legislature to put up needless and politicized roadblocks. 

Louisiana must seize this moment. The risk of inaction is too great. Without a proactive approach to CCS, we stand to lose the economic race with our neighbors. We cannot afford to watch from the sidelines as other states transform their industries, attract investments, and secure a sustainable future for their citizens.

To this end, we call on our state leaders, businesses, and communities to come together in support of CCS initiatives. This involves investing in research and development, providing incentives for businesses to adopt CCS technologies, and creating a regulatory framework that encourages innovation while ensuring environmental safety. 

We are committed to leading this charge. We believe in the resilience and ingenuity of our people and the boundless potential of our state. By embracing CCS, we can protect our environment, invigorate our economy, and secure a prosperous and sustainable future for Louisiana. Let us not be left behind.


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