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Louisiana bill would end eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines

A section of Hammond's discharge pipeline, south of Ponchatoula. The discharge alternates along lengths of the pipeline. (Tom Wright/The Lens)

By Terry Jones for the Lens and the Illuminator

A Louisiana legislator wants to help keep landowners from losing their property to pipelines needed for the dozens of carbon capture projects proposed around the state.

Rep. Robby Carter, D-Amite, has prefiled a bill for the upcoming 2023 Louisiana legislative session that would remove eminent domain rights given to private companies 14 years ago allowing them to seize private property for such pipelines.

For Carter, whose district includes East Feliciana, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes where some of the carbon capture projects have been proposed, the issue isn’t just one of property rights; it’s a safety issue, too.

“Once you put it in the ground, will it expand back to gas? Cause earthquakes? We don’t know,” said Carter, who is concerned about the effects carbon sequestration could have on groundwater as well.

Fossil fuel companies are counting on the projects to lessen their climate pollution, but there are questions about the projects’ energy and water usage, among other things.

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