Monday February 27, 2023

CBS Bay Area

In its latest ambitious roadmap to tackle climate change, California relies on capturing carbon out of the air and storing it deep underground on a scale that’s not yet been seen in the United States.

The plan — advanced by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration — comes just as the Biden administration has boosted incentives for carbon capture projects in an effort to spur more development nationwide. Ratcheting up 20 years of climate efforts, Newsom last year signed a law requiring California to remove as much carbon from the air as it emits by 2045 — one of the world’s fastest timelines for achieving so-called carbon neutrality. He directed the powerful California Air Resources Board to drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels and build massive amounts of carbon dioxide capture and storage.

To achieve its climate goals, California must rapidly transform an economy that’s larger than most nations but fierce opposition to carbon capture from environmental groups and concerns about how to safely transport the gas may delay progress — practical and political obstacles the Democratic-led Legislature must now navigate.

Last year, the California state legislature passed a law that says no carbon dioxide may flow through new pipelines until the federal government finishes writing stronger safety regulations, a process that could take years. As a potential backup, the law directed the California Natural Resources Agency to write its own pipeline standards for lawmakers to consider, a report now more than three weeks overdue.

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