The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the State of Wyoming’s application under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to implement an UIC program for Class VI wells. Class VI wells are used for the underground injection of carbon dioxide into deep subsurface rock formations for long-term storage. The EPA determined that Wyoming’s application meets or exceeds all applicable requirements and regulations allowing the state to administer the Class VI UIC program while protecting underground sources of drinking water.
“Climate change is the biggest environmental threat we face as a state and nation. Working cooperatively with other states to mitigate and remove carbon emissions gives us another tool in addressing this existential challenge,” said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
EORI provided data to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) research for the Wyoming Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Study and finds that carbon capture retrofit may provide significant benefits that could extend the lives of several Wyoming coal plants, generate new jobs, add millions of dollars for Wyoming’s economy while reducing CO2 emissions.
“Our newfound Class VI injection well regulatory primacy is part of the state's larger strategy to keep coal burning, reduce carbon emissions and keep jobs in Wyoming. The advancements we’ve made in carbon capture research alongside the Department of Energy and the strategic partnerships we’ve formed uniquely position the state to extend the life of coal and reduce emissions.” states Governor Gordon.
Carbon XPrize Executive Director Marcius Extavour was one of the experts in attendance and said his organization has created incentives for successful research. The XPrize has set up a prize pool of $20 million that will be distributed to teams that show the most promise in carbon capturing research. xtavour stressed the importance of creating business opportunities out of reducing the carbon intensity of energy and industrial sectors.
Brown explains that carbon capture technology to mitigate climate change could reduce the cost by 2.4 times. Wyoming could benefit from this technology because it has both capture and storage sites. "Carbon capture can especially benefit industries and states that emit a lot of CO2 and also have very productive uses for the captured CO2," said Brown. "Wyoming's a good example. We have a lot of coal power plants that are well maintained and have cheap locally mined coal and also Wyoming has an innovative oil industry that can put the CO2 underground."
The Moneta Divide Project proposes to drill up to 4250 wells over a 15 year period with the potential to generate $182 million per year in Federal royalties, $87.5 million per year in severance taxes for the State of Wyoming, and $106 million in County Ad Valorem taxes.
The Converse County Oil and Gas Project proposes to drill 5,000 wells, 1,500 miles of gas gathering pipelines and 900 miles of water pipelines, along with roads, electrical lines and other infrastructure over a ten year period. The project estimates the creation of up to 8,000 jobs and the potential for state and federal revenue ranging from $18 billion to $28 billion.