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Environmentalists take aim at Louisiana carbon-capture projects

2 min read

Washington Post reporter Timothy Puko writes that White House support for carbon-capture projects is hitting opposition in Louisiana, where locals fear the risks and the influence of fossil fuel industries.

In a nutshell:

The Biden administration's push for carbon capture projects is facing resistance from environmentalists and advocates for environmental justice in Louisiana. The region, known as "Cancer Alley" due to its high cancer rates and proximity of petrochemical plants to predominantly Black communities, is a major emitter of carbon dioxide. While the administration sees carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a tool to reduce climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, critics argue that it will perpetuate fossil fuel industries and further harm local communities.

Key quote:

“I think what bothers me the most is that the oil industry is behind pushing CCS,” Beverly Wright, the executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, said in an interview. “They can continue doing what they do to make money without doing anything to actually reduce their carbon footprint.”

The big picture:

The Inflation Reduction Act increases tax credits for each ton of carbon a company captures rather than emitting it into the atmosphere. Carbon capture is booming in Louisiana, and the Biden administration is supporting the state's plan to accelerate development of such projects, which involve storing emissions deep underground. But locals say the industry-friendly projects, often in close proximity to low-income communities of color, amount to an experiment on people long burdened by toxic pollution and resulting health problems. The debate over carbon capture in Louisiana highlights the challenge of balancing climate goals with the environmental justice concerns of impacted communities.

Read the full article at the Washington Post.

For additional context about the dangers of petrochemical pollution, read EHN reporter Kristina Marusic's award-winning piece: Titans of Plastic.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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