SoCalGas wants to charge customers for carbon capture and hydrogen investments

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CALIFORNIA – Lobbyists for Siempra and subsidiary SoCalGas asked legislators, on August 16, to introduce a bill that would allow gas companies to charge customers for investments in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and methane gas infrastructure.

CCS is a process designed to reduce the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the air. The captured CO2 is injected deep underground into depleted oil and gas reservoirs, saline aquifers, or deep coal seams. 

“SoCalGas supports efforts to give California companies the tools needed to deploy the clean fuels and carbon removal infrastructure called for in the State’s Climate Plan,” said SoCalGas spokesperson Chris Gilbride.

According to Capital and Main, the proposal submission just days before the end of California’s 2023 legislative session has historically been employed to avoid scrutiny for unpopular measures. 

CCS Opposition

Environmental advocates voiced concerns against CCS. They say these types of projects are being used to “delay meaningful climate action, and increases investment in fossil fuel and other hydrocarbon infrastructure”.

“We should be investing in zero emission energy and phasing out fuels that continue to drive the climate crisis and poison frontline communities,” says an April 2023 policy statement from several environmental advocate groups. 

In addition, the coalition says that carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) financing must not result in increased rates for utility customers. 

RELATED: California to pipe purified sewage to 1.5 Million Socal residents for drinking water by 2032

“The additional cost of constructing and maintaining CCUS infrastructure should not have the unintended consequence of raising rates for utility customers, and any project that moves forward must come with legally-binding guarantees that financing will not come from increased rates,” says the policy statement.

Proposed Bill

Since a state senator or assemblymember has yet to put their name on the bill, there is no guarantee it will be introduced as legislation. If the proposed bill is picked up, it may be altered.

To read the proposed bill visit https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/23929986/rn231968.pdf

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