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Carbon-capture gold rush an ‘insult’ to locals in emissions-hit Louisiana

Updated: Aug 17

A carbon capture facility. Louisiana already emits more than 4% of the United State’s greenhouse gases. (Canva)

By Pam Radtke for Floodlight, the Guardian and Louisiana Illuminator

Millions of dollars of investments in new carbon capture projects in Louisiana – with more announced this week, are unwelcome developments to some environmental activists in the state.

“We’ve been trying to fix the oil and gas damage, while at the same time trying to push the transition away from it,” said Monique Harden, director of law for the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice.

“And now we have carbon-capture and sequestration to contend with,” added Harden, whose group is a member of Louisiana Against False Solutions, a coalition of environmental and watchdog nonprofits fighting the carbon capture projects.

Carbon capture technology, supported by the US federal government, the fossil fuel industry and some environmental groups, does not yet exist on a meaningful scale. Some climate experts worry the focus on the technology will distract and undermine efforts to phase out fossil fuels.

About 30 carbon-capture projects have been proposed in Louisiana – all of them spurred by federal subsidies and most supercharged by increased incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act intended to address global warming.

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