GETTING FROM HERE TO THERE: DEVISING AN OPTIMAL REGULATORY MODEL FOR CO2 TRANSPORT IN A NEW CARBON CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION INDUSTRY

Jennifer Skougard Horne

Abstract


If CCS is to become a broad-scale commercial industry in time to meet the need for climate change mitigation, the United States must adopt a regulatory model that will allow for efficient construction of critical infrastructure. A well-crafted regulatory framework gives private would-be CCS operators information on which to build business models and make decisions about whether to invest resources in CCS. In this way, sound regulation can facilitate industry development while protecting other important public interests.

The scale and complexity of a commercial CCS industry demand a comprehensive, coordinated approach to CCS regulation. A strong federal role probably is the most workable and efficient means of doing so, given the unique regulatory needs and policy considerations of CCS. Certainly, the nascent state of CCS technology means that a learning curve is inevitable for project operators and regulators, and it is not yet clear just what the CCS landscape will look like. It may change radically over time, from a series of localized, self-contained projects to a vast, interconnected network dotted with new and retrofitted plants. Regulation of CO2 transport should be adaptable enough to account for this learning curve, leaving regulated entities with room enough for necessary experimentation and adjustment as they identify best practices. The regulatory model for transport described in this Note highlights some of the important transport issues that should be considered in that effort.


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