Print Icon

CCS IN THE AMERICAS | March 2023 Recap

This newsletter provides updates on policy and advocacy events important to the work of the Global CCS Institute in the Americas.

This month's newsletter highlights the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announcement of two new task forces, the Environmental Protection Agency’s update on its review of Louisiana’s primacy application, and carbon market developments.

NOTE: If you'd like to view past editions of the newsletter, please click here. If you were forwarded a copy of this newsletter and would like to sign up to receive it, click here.


Table of Contents

  1.  United States – Federal (Policy/Legislation/Regulation) 
    1.  Executive Branch
  2. United States and Canada - Joint Policy Statement
  3. Americas Institute Events
  4. Areas to Watch - U.S. 
  5. Areas to Watch - Canada 
  6. Other News
    1.  Carbon Markets    
    2.  Environmental Justice 
    3.  ESG 
    4.  Industry Letter to EPA 
    5.  Reports
    6.  Research and Development 
    7.  States 
    8.  Utilization


United States – Federal (Policy/Legislation/Regulation) 


The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)  announced members of two new task forces that will provide input to inform the responsible development of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS). The task forces, which are required by the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, will provide recommendations to the Federal government on how to ensure that CCUS projects, including carbon dioxide pipelines, are permitted efficiently, reflect the input and needs of a wide range of stakeholders, and deliver benefits rather than harms to local communities.   

  •  Ruth Ivory-Moore, GCCSI’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Americas, was appointed to the Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration Non-Federal Lands Permitting Task Force. 

Department of Energy (DOE).  The Biden-Harris Administration, through the DOE, announced approximately USD $6 billion in funding to accelerate decarbonization projects in energy-intensive industries and provide American manufacturers a competitive advantage in the emerging global clean energy economy.   The Industrial Demonstrations Program focuses on the highest emitting industries where decarbonization technologies will have the most significant impact.  Widespread demonstration and deployment of decarbonization projects within these industries is key to achieving the President’s goal of a net-zero economy by 2050.  DOE will prioritize a portfolio of projects that:   

  • Accelerate industry towards deep decarbonization;  

  • Spur follow-on investments for widespread adoption of the demonstrated technologies;  

  • Enable new markets for cleaner products; and 

  • Benefit local communities.   


United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan responded to Louisiana’s Gov. Edwards’ January letter, which inquired about the status of the EPA’s approval of primacy for the state.  Administrator Regan stated  in his  letter to Gov. Edwards that “EPA expects to complete this evaluation and publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register in May 2023.” The EPA intends to hold a public comment period, including an opportunity for a public hearing, if a request is submitted from the public within twenty days of the publication.  

Potential role of carbon capture in EPA’s new power plant rules. Next year the EPA expects to finalize its two rule-makings for new and existing coal- and gas-fired power plants. They will establish carbon limits based on what can be achieved via the Clean Air Act's "best system of emissions reduction," or BSER. Those limits may vary based on the type of plant and what carbon control options are deemed to be adequately demonstrated for that technology. [Some] groups have pushed for the rules to be based on carbon capture and storage…  [t]he Inflation Reduction Act subsidies vastly improved the cost-competitiveness of CCS — boosting the argument that EPA should use it as the "best system" standard…EPA's modeling shows fossil generation with CCS expanding to more than 18 GW by 2040, compared with less than 4 GW without the climate law. 


United States and Canada 

(Joint Policy Statement)


On March  24th, the U.S. and Canada issued a joint statement celebrating their progress under the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership over the past two years and reaffirming their historic alliance, steadfast friendship, and commitment to overcome the daunting challenges of today and realize the full potential of the relationship in the future. President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau highlighted the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan as foundational elements to leading the clean energy future through robust clean energy industrial policies that help mobilize technological innovation, bolster resilient supply chains, strengthen our respective economies, and expand the middle class while keeping their environment healthy for future generations.  Canada is moving forward with an enhanced plan to support a clean economy future, including a new investment tax credit for clean technology manufacturing and  tax measures that support clean hydrogen and clean technology adoption.  As the implementation of these plans proceeds, the United States and Canada will work together toward an integrated North American approach that benefits U.S. and Canadian workers, suppliers, and products.  


Americas Institute Events

March 7 & 8, 2023 GCCSI and Government of Alberta partner on CCUS Workshop. Last month, the Institute partnered with the Alberta Environment and Protected Areas department to host a half-day of industry networking followed by a daylong program of speakers and panels to accelerate CCUS deployment in the province. The events were well attended by industry leaders in capture, transport, and storage of carbon dioxide as well as various governmental bureaus.  Speakers included Deputy Minister Katarzyna Piquette as well as representatives from Emissions Reduction Alberta, the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Strategic Innovation Fund, sequestration hub operators, and capture technology providers. Over 250 individuals joined in-person along with nearly 650 participants online.  


Areas to Watch - United States


Battelle, Climeworks, Heirloom Carbon, Gulf Coast Sequestration Bid on Direct Air Capture Hub for Department of Energy Battelle and a team of leading technology developers submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Regional Direct Air Capture (DAC) Hubs program. The Project Cypress DAC Hub will advance the commercialization of Direct Air Capture and Storage (DAC+S), an innovative technology powered by renewable energy that verifiably removes carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere. In addition, the project provides benefits to the state of Louisiana. Battelle will serve as the prime recipient to manage the projec and will collaborate with White House Council on Environmental Quality industry-leading partners—including Direct Air Capture technology  providers - Climeworks and Heirloom—to bring their global expertise to this first-of-its-kind initiative. 


Other News

This section is for other news that may directly or indirectly impact CCS deployment


  • Integrity Council launches global benchmark for high-integrity carbon credits.  The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM or Integrity Council)  launched its  Core Carbon Principles and Program-level Assessment Framework, setting rigorous thresholds on disclosure and sustainable development for high-integrity carbon credits and establishing a pathway towards even higher ambition. The Core Carbon Principles (CCPs), developed with input from hundreds of organizations throughout the voluntary carbon market, set out fundamental principles for high-quality credits that create real, verifiable climate impact based on the latest science and best practice. The ICVCM is also publishing the first part of its Assessment Framework, which provides detailed criteria for assessing whether carbon-crediting programs (programs) are CCP-Eligible. 
  • Some see these rules as disappointing, as being too little, too late. 
  • Doubts on carbon-credit program in Peru forest  The Cordillera Azul National Park on the eastern flank of the Peruvian Andes takes in a sweep of Amazon rainforest, mountains, and waterfalls in a territory about the size of Connecticut, so precious that tens of millions of dollars in carbon credits have been sold in a program that supporters said would protect its trees. But an analysis by independent experts and reporting by The Associated Press raises doubts about whether the project has delivered on its promise to counter-balance emissions by oil companies such as Shell, TotalEnergies and others. And the tree loss has more than doubled, according to satellite analysis. Experts say the Cordillera Azul project was flawed from the beginning, with far too many carbon credits generated and exaggerated benefits that allowed the nonprofit running the park for the Peruvian government to make more money — even as the tree canopy shrank. 
  • Carbon markets are heating up. As a result, carbon dioxide is getting more valuable. Last year was the costliest yet to buy emissions permits in carbon markets, a new report finds. Increased carbon prices in Europe and North America drove a 13 percent rise in the value of carbon dioxide in 2022, according to a new report from Refinitiv, a British-based provider of financial markets data. Global carbon market transactions rose to $9.2 trillion, up from about $8.2 trillion in 2021. That’s despite a 20 percent decline in the number of transactions compared with 2021. 
  • Successful first auction marks turning point in fight against climate change in Washington State.  Washington State held its first cap-and-invest auction on Feb. 28, marking a historic moment in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a clean energy future. Information from the auction is now published online in an  Auction Summary Report, following validation by staff at the Washington Department of Ecology and an independent market monitor. 


  • Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.)  and Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) plan to put forth the  “Clean Electricity Transmission Acceleration Act of 2023. The bill is a mix of older ideas and new proposals for speeding up permitting for renewable energy projects. It would rely heavily on giving new authorities to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, prioritizing emission-reducing initiatives, mandating input from front-line communities, and creating new offices to streamline the greenlighting of projects. It would draw from bills formally introduced by Senate Democratic leaders in the space, including Sens. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico. It would also include some of the intent of the sweeping “Environmental Justice for All Act,” which was just reintroduced in honor of its champion, the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.). 


  • Finance pros bet ESG will become mainstream. Over  60 percent of respondents to HSBC’s latest ESG Sentiment Survey say it will  become mainstream within the next decade, while 21 percent do not think it will become mainstream at all.  Those results are likely to disappoint Republican politicians and red-state officials who have been attacking financial firms over their ESG policies. Texas, West Virginia, and other states have divested public money from BlackRock and other asset managers that they accuse of boycotting fossil fuels and kowtowing to progressives’ agenda. 

  • In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, several chambers of commerce and manufacturer associations (Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, New Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Greater Houston Partnership, Texas Economic Development Council, Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council and West Virginia Manufacturers Association) state that the agency's slow permitting process is at odds with the Biden administration's vocal support of CCS.  The associations  stated that their  members are collectively pursuing billions of dollars in new investments in CCS, which will provide secure, good paying jobs and generate new revenue streams for communities across the country, but their  members are increasingly concerned about uncertain permitting timelines for Class VI injection wells and the lengthy process for states to secure primacy 

  • The Department of Energy (DOE) released  a report  entitled “ Evaluating Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on the U.S. Power System.”  The report states fossil generation with CCS could be economically deployed at levels reaching the tens of gigawatts if such technologies achieve projected cost and performance levels and the required supporting infrastructure is successfully developed. However, tempering the message is the current  substantial uncertainty around the future costs of fossil generation with CCS technologies, and in particular, the cost of retrofitting existing fossil generation facilities with CCS given the diversity in plant age, capacity, efficiency, existing emission controls, and siting, among other characteristics.

  • The DOE  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) states that technology  that uses a single step to capture carbon dioxide and turn it into methanol could decrease the cost of capturing carbon dioxide by as much as 23%.  For additional information, see the peer-reviewed  study and PNNL news release.  The study reviewed four carbon dioxide -Binding Organic Liquids, all water-lean solvents, where each presents promising options for energy-effective and low-cost carbon capture from point sources. 


  • Researchers develop solution that could make carbon capture three times more efficientIn an "urgently needed" discovery that could revolutionize direct air capture, researchers from Lehigh University have found a way to potentially make the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere cheaper and more efficient. The novel process, published in the Science Advances journal, works with the standard direct air capture (DAC) machines used by companies like Climeworks, which suck in air before running it through filters and sorbents that extract the carbon dioxide. But in this case, the researchers introduced a new type of hybrid sorbent that contains copper and discovered that it has a carbon capture capacity "nearly two to three times greater" than any other sorbent used to date. 

  • GE and Svante will collaborate to develop and evaluate innovative solid sorbent technologies for carbon capture from natural gas power generationThe companies have announced a joint development agreement (JDA) to develop and evaluate solid sorbent-based carbon capture technology for natural gas power generation applications. In addition, GE  made an equity investment in Svante as a part of Svante’s US $318 million Series E fundraising round in December 2022. The JDA between GE Gas Power and Svante will focus on further development and commercialization of novel solid sorbent technologies “aimed at decarbonizing natural gas-fired turbines in a cost-effective, environmentally responsible manner.”  

  • Path to net-zero carbon capture and storage may lead to ocean. Lehigh Engineering researcher Arup SenGupta has developed a novel way to capture carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the “infinite sink” of the ocean. The approach uses an innovative copper-containing polymeric filter and  converts carbon dioxide into sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) that can be released harmlessly into the ocean. This new hybrid material, or filter, is called DeCarbonHIX (i.e., decarbonization through hybrid ion exchange material) and is described in a paper recently published in the journal Science Advances.  


  • ILLINOIS GLE begins engineering on Marquis Industrial Complex CCS. Gas Liquids Engineering Ltd. (GLE) has begun detailed engineering on a major carbon capture and sequestration project for Marquis Carbon Capture. The Marquis Industrial Complex houses Marquis Energy-Illinois, the world’s largest dry grind ethanol plant. 
  • INDIANA U. S. Steel and CarbonFree combine on steel plant CCS. The companies have signed an MoU to jointly pursue the capture of Carbon Dioxide emissions generated from U. S. Steel’s Gary Works manufacturing plant using CarbonFree’s SkyCycle™ technology. If a definitive agreement is reached, the project is expected to capture and mineralize up to 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. 
  • TEXAS Bayou Bend expands carbon capture project to onshore Southeast Texas . Bayou Bend CCS has expanded its project through the acquisition of nearly 100,000 acres onshore in Chambers and Jefferson Counties, Texas. 
  • TEXAS Occidental company 1PointFive announces CCS hub plan in Texas. The 55,000-acre site has resource potential to store approximately 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to provide a carbon removal solution for industrial facilities. 


  • Carbon capture might not work for all buildings. But some are giving it a try. At the Grand Tier, a 30-story apartment tower on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the carbon dioxide from its two giant gas boilers is captured, cooled to a liquid, and then trucked to a concrete factory in Brooklyn. There, the carbon is mixed with cement and sealed into concrete blocks, where it can’t heat the atmosphere. 

Global CCS Institute | Level 23, Tower 5, 727 Collins Street Docklands VIC 3008 Australia