By Addie Goss
Laramie, WY – A state legislative committee is taking another step in regulating carbon sequestration. That's the process of storing carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power plants underground - it's been hailed as a way to make the coal industry "cleaner." The Joint Judiciary Committee is discussing a bill that addresses how to permit and monitor sequestration. Representative Mary Throne says the bill would protect Wyoming from lawsuit if something goes wrong underground.
"They've identified some real financial assurances that can work, that can deal with the risk and hopefully allow people to go forward with the project, and to protect Wyoming in the event that something happens."
States have different ideas about who should be accept liability for carbon sequestration. Initially, the company that injects the carbon dioxide is liable. In Montana, the state eventually accepts liability for the storage site. This bill makes clear that Wyoming is not liable. Wyoming U.S. Senator Mike Enzi has proposed a bill that would eventually transfer liability from industry to the federal government.