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New CCUS Study Highlights Pipeline Network Needed

EEIA is leading efforts to assess the potential for widespread adoption of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) to mitigate carbon emissions. Our key role is focused on CCUS's great potential both to drive new energy infrastructure construction, and to solidify the role of natural gas as a primary part of our energy mix.

Recently we introduced the topic of the potential for large new networks of CO2 pipelines needed to implement CCUS in the U.S. CCUS - and by extension CO2 pipelines - are considered essential to achieving the major reductions in atmospheric CO2 concentrations necessary for climate change mitigation.

Last December saw release of a major CCUS study commissioned by the Department of Energy ("Meeting the Dual Challenge: A Roadmap to At-scale Deployment of Carbon Capture, Use and Storage") that devoted substantial focus on the prospects for the required new pipeline network.

We are providing a distillation of the report's "Chapter 6: CO2 Transport", excerpting key passages of particular interest to companies and workers who will help build those pipelines and related infrastructure or benefit from their existence. It's available here. A page from which you can download the full Chapter 6 and other sections of the report is available here.

This deserves focus not only because of the potentially great opportunities for energy infrastructure construction, but also because realization of the promise will require both legislative and regulatory enablers. EEIA will lead in this area and as always, our success will depend on industry's engagement with your elected representatives.

Here are a few key bullets from our excerpt available here.

  • Wide-scale deployment of carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) across the United States will require expansion of the existing CO2 pipeline network through looping, replacement, or construction of new pipelines.
  • There are currently 5,000 miles of CO2 pipelines in the U.S. The network would need to increase by at least an order of magnitude in the next decade to transport the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of captured industrial or combustion source CO2 needed to support wide-scale CCUS deployment.
  • DOE in 2015 projected that the scale of U.S. CO2 pipeline infrastructure would need to triple by 2030 to enable the delivery of carbon captured by the U.S. power sector. This scenario would involve an unprecedented scale-up of CO2 pipeline infrastructure, on a pace comparable to what has been projected for pipeline construction in other sectors.
  • There is currently some interest in Congress in providing support for construction of CO2 pipelines, e.g. HR 4905 (Bustos, D-IL), "Investing in Energy systems for the Transport of CO2 Act of 2019."

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