New Inflation Reduction Act relies on carbon capture to reduce emissions in the US

Pipeline challenges ahead

However, while the bill may appear helpful on a theoretical basis, both carbon capture and storage and direct air capture could face some serious headwinds over the course of the next decade and beyond.

One major challenge could be resistance to the construction of pipelines to transport carbon dioxide to storage sites. In recent years, counties and private landowners in Iowa have voiced opposition to such projects, particularly the idea that the state might allow pipeline builders to seize private land for their projects.

Pipeline construction is also a point of contention for environmental groups, especially environmental justice organizations, and could lead to protracted litigation. This stems in part from a carbon dioxide pipeline rupture in Satartia, Mississippi, in 2020, which hospitalized 45 people.

If public opposition delays construction, projects could be pushed past the window for the incentives, leaving developers with expensive projects. While some studies argue that enhanced oil recovery results in a net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, this may ultimately be a hard political sell for local communities.

The bill may ultimately brighten the prospects for carbon removal in America, but this is by no means assured, especially in the optimistic time frame of the next decade.

Wil Burns, Professor of Research in Environmental Policy, American University School of International Service

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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