Katelyn Roedner:

We have some great speakers, a lot of information, and hopefully we’ll have a lot of questions from you as well. I’m Katelyn Roedner Sutter, I lead the climate work and Environmental Defense Fund here in California and some other western states as well.

Katelyn Roedner:

I’m going to start us off with introducing our speakers, some basic background information on carbon capture and storage, and then turn this over to our panelists for some more analysis and discussion. So to start off, our first panelist is going to be Ryan McCarthy who leads Weideman Group’s growing climate and clean energy practice. Ryan spent over eight years in the [inaudible 00:00:55] administrations serving as a science and technology policy advisor to the chair at CARB.

Katelyn Roedner:

He was also instrumental in developing the state’s 2030 climate goal and carbon neutrality goal, Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy, and clean energy and transportation policies. So it sounds like you can ask him anything you want about California climate policy, right?

Ryan McCarthy:

You can try.

Katelyn Roedner:

Ryan also received a BS in structural engineering from UC San Diego, and an MS and PhD in transportation engineering from UC Davis. And our second panelist is Diane Doucette, who leads Project 2030, a network of climate advocates working to exceed California’s 2030 climate goal. In 2011, Diane founded Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, a national network of chambers of commerce focused on addressing the climate crisis. She was also the director of the Climate Campaign at E2 for six years.

Katelyn Roedner:

And one interesting thing that I learned about Diane as we were preparing for this panel is she was the first joint EDF, NRDC hired back in 2006. So she can wear multiple hats all at once. And Diane also has a PhD from UC Berkeley in political science. And we did have a third speaker lined up for today, but in COVID times, we all had to be flexible. They are unable to join us today, so unfortunately, we will not have a geologist handy, but hopefully between the three of us we can have a good discussion with all of you.

Katelyn Roedner:

Like I said at the top, I’m going to do a little bit of background and then turn it over to our expert panelists here. As you have all heard and perhaps why you’re here joining us today, there’s been a lot of conversation in recent years about the role of carbon capture technology, carbon dioxide removal technology, natural climate strategies to store carbon, and then geologic storage options for CO2, utilization options for CO2. There’s a lot of conversation and there’s a lot of different strategies out there that, as the IPCC report has made clear recently, likely we’re going to need to really look at a lot of these different strategies.

Katelyn Roedner:

And so I want to us to go through some terminology, so we’re all clear what we’re talking about and then dive into some details. And again, apologies that I am doing this, I’m not a geologist, you’re getting the non-science version. So carbon capture usually refers to point source carbon capture. So technology that is installed on an industrial facility or a power plant. It could be in this case, we’re going to talk about cement, but it can also be on a refinery or something like that. But it is technology that’s installed that prevents CO2 from going into the atmosphere. This reduces the amount of emissions that go into the atmosphere from that source of pollution.

Katelyn Roedner:

Then there is carbon dioxide removal, which removes CO2 that is already in the atmosphere. So it addresses our legacy pollution, all the stuff, all the CO2 that has already been emitted. And there’s technology that can do that, like you might have heard direct air capture. There’s also a lot of natural climate solutions that can do that, like soil carbon sequestration. And then once you’ve either captured the CO2 from a point source or removed it from the atmosphere such as with direct air capture, then you have to do something with it.

Katelyn Roedner:

It can either be stored, so it can be injected underground into geologic formations and stored permanently underground. It can also be used as the utilization sometimes you hear, it can be used in building materials or fertilizers, or food processing or something like that. And then either captured CO2 or removed CO2 can also be used for a process called enhanced oil recovery, which is sometimes shortened to be EOR, which is where the CO2 is basically injected into depleted oil wells to push out the last of the oil from those wells.

Katelyn Roedner:

So I’m going to stop there. We have reductions, we have removals, there are technological approaches, there are natural climate solutions. With the technological approaches to capturing and removing, you have a storage or utilization issue that needs to be resolved. You may also have a transportation issue that needs to be resolved. How do you get the CO2 from where it is captured or removed, to where it is going to be stored or utilized?

Katelyn Roedner:

So we’re going to touch on a lot of these issues today. Ultimately, we’re talking about carbon capture in cement specifically, but a lot of these issues are going to come up. The way we’re going to do this, each speaker is going to give some opening remarks. I have a few questions prepared, but then we’d really like to get audience questions. So as our speakers are going through their presentations, please jot down any questions that you’d like to ask. I know there’s a lot of CCS questions out there, so let’s discuss them today. And with that, I’m going to turn it over to Ryan.

Ryan McCarthy:

Thank you, and thanks for having me here. It’s fun to be back at an in-person conference and participating on a panel where you have to get dressed up top and bottom for the event. So this is fun. I’ll try to be quick here and hopefully we can just have a good conversation. But I want to provide a few thoughts, putting kind of my old CARB hat on, but just the way I understand the state to be thinking about and approaching carbon captured sequestration, as well as what we’re beginning to see in the cement and concrete industry, which is a lot of activity in Sacramento which is fun to see and I think exciting to see,

Ryan McCarthy:

And certainly it’s not necessarily all correct. So I would love to hear and participate in discussion, and hear questions or differences of opinion on things, because this is a… I think it’s probably fair to say that carbon capturing sequestration is the number one sort of dividing issue or political issue right now around the state’s approach on climate change moving forward, and specifically how you want to approach carbon neutrality in California was sort of the fight that held up legislation last year, that would’ve codified the executive order and ultimately see folks that aren’t always the same sides you would assume sort of picking their sides left and right, for lack of a better word.

Ryan McCarthy:

But really folks who have differences of opinion on this specific topic, weighing in different ways on the discussion around [inaudible 00:08:28]. So it’s sort of the hinge point right now or the item to be solved, I guess, as the state plots forward its approach. And with or without legislation, that something California’s doing. Right now, CARB, the California Air Resources Board, where I used to work and the state’s climate agency is developing the climate change scoping plan, which every five years the state puts together this plan which is the formal climate change plan for California. So right now, this is the first one that will be looking at how do you achieve carbon neutrality?

Ryan McCarthy:

So it’s looking further in time and deeper in terms of emissions reductions in California has ever done before, at least in this context. And the IPC scenarios and everything we’ve seen is that carbon capture and sequestration, whether at the source or carbon captured in the atmosphere and stored has to be part of the solution. And that’s at least to achieve carbon neutrality and to meet our goals of 1.5 degrees Celsius or two degrees Celsius globally. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ongoing debates around. But that does seem to be part of the solution.

Ryan McCarthy:

And if I could offer maybe… I don’t know if this is controversial or this is maybe just a hypothesis, but I think part of the reason for these debates that we have is that we see climate change as sort of a zero sum game. Our approach to climate change is a zero some game. And every scenario that CARB, or really any agency, or any entity that I have seen puts together for achieving a target, it’s always like, “Oh, we’re going to look at eight different ways to achieve the same target. This is how we’re going to achieve 40% reductions by 2030, and then 80% reductions by 2050, and now 100% net reductions by 2045.”

Ryan McCarthy:

And so it’s always seen as a trade-off, and the fact that there are 20 different scenarios for how you get there means there’s 20 different approaches. And in my mind, that means you could add them all up and do more, but that’s not the way we look at it. So it’s always like, “Well, do you want to this? Do you want to do that? Should this sector do more? Should that sector do less?” And I would suggest that both the climate change crisis demands more. That’s just to put us on path to have a two-thirds chance of avoiding two degrees warming, which we’re saying is catastrophic and which is twice as bad as it is now.

Ryan McCarthy:

So it’s terrifying. It’s twice as terrifying as where we’re at right now, and that’s how we’re defining success right now. And that’s sort of the framework for the zero sum discussion. But the carbon neutrality executive order, which is still until there is legislation still guiding California’s approach on this, actually says you should achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and achieve and maintain negative emissions afterwards. It’s pretty vague as to what that means, but that’s certainly an invitation to do more and make things not a zero sum game.

Ryan McCarthy:

So my hope, and this is just me talking, but my hope is that ultimately our ambition would step up to what I think is that opportunity to not make it a zero sum game. And instead to just push, “What if you put all 20 scenarios together and found every incremental element of additional reductions that could be achieved, put it all together, what would that look like?” And I hope it could help us get past this debate a little bit. That’s not to say that there won’t still be debate and certainly there deserve to be and I want to touch on that as well. But I hope that that could help us.

Ryan McCarthy:

If we just said, “What we should be doing is everything we can, everything that’s practical, as quickly as possible and that’s reducing emissions from every source that we can and know how to do it, and that’s also pulling as much carbon dioxide out of the air that we know we can, and that’s also doing as much as we can on the natural [inaudible 00:12:25] space.” I think that’s what ultimately we need to do for climate change, and hopefully that could help bridge some of these gaps.

Ryan McCarthy:

But that is not part of the discussion right now. That’s just me throwing that out into the atmosphere or into the room for discussion, perhaps. If we accept these things or once we appreciate these things, that we do need some form of carbon capture, some form of carbon removal, there’s active discussion about how much and which. I would say they go together as well. And certainly they don’t from a policy perspective and from the technical perspective as you heard. But if you’re just a molecule of CO2, the difference between capture and carbon dioxide removal is sort of a few inches from the end of the smokestack to the atmosphere.

Ryan McCarthy:

But for us as folks who presumably have to pay for this one way or the other, or for a regulated entity who does, the difference is a lot of money. And so to our approach, again I would say we should ultimately think about doing everything we can. And that includes both, because the two kind of go together. If you’re doing carbon dioxide removal and direct air capture, you kind of want to do it somewhere where you’re doing some carbon capture at a point source as well, because you’re going to have the infrastructure to store or use CO2 and you want waste heat from that facility, and it makes it all more efficient.

Ryan McCarthy:

So CARB is teeing up this sort of distinction between CCS and carbon dioxide removal, and certainly there is technically and in a policy perspective. But I would say as we think about going forward, we should hopefully move forward with both to the extent we can. With I guess the exception here is the big but. There are guardrails we want to put around this. There are very valid discussions around what we want to do in certain sectors.

Ryan McCarthy:

And if on one hand, we’re trying to put the refining industry out of business or transition entirely away from natural gas, power plants or whatever, even if we understand that’s a 15 to 30 year sort of process, that’s a long time in terms of emissions that accumulate in between and in terms of our planning horizon and thinking. But if you’re somebody who’s going to be making an investment and decarbonizing that facility, we need a 20, 30-year payback. And so, there is some, especially from this planning perspective, something that we have to rationalize that. Do we want to decarbonize this facility now, even if we’re sort of imagining it going away in the future, or are we just going to let it go away?

Ryan McCarthy:

So there’s going to be places where we maybe want to prioritize this and start this. Of course air quality is the other one. There’s preliminary studies and indications that there are fairly significant air quality benefits that go along with a lot of carbon capture technologies at least, not all. We’re trying to get a hang on exactly how much and exactly what that looks like with different technologies. I think this is some work that Lawrence Livermore is looking at right now. But there do seem to be some good synergies there.

Ryan McCarthy:

And again, that doesn’t mean that you embrace carbon capture as the solution everywhere. Maybe it’s better in certain regions, in certain places and in certain sectors. So all that said, one of the sectors where we think it makes a lot of sense is cement. And the reason it makes some sense in cement is the process of making cement actually like breaks up rocks, and those rocks, that process breaks up and emits CO2. And about half of the emissions very roughly at the cement plant are from the CO2 called process emissions of breaking up that rock. And the other half is from the energy that the cement plant uses.

Ryan McCarthy:

So even if you switch entirely to renewable energy for that process, you’re still going to be emitting CO2. So the only way to reduce that is by carbon capture. Which is why we’re now seeing this be part of the discussion in Sacramento and especially in Senate Bill 905 by Nancy Skinner. Let’s look at how we begin to pilot and demonstrate carbon capture in the context of cement. This is sort of the beginning of a conversation that maybe gets broader and maybe is an opportunity for us to demonstrate and explore carbon capture in California, but doing so in a sector where it ultimately is going to have to be part of the solution.

Ryan McCarthy:

And the last thing I’ll say is… I guess I’ll add two things, but I’ll say one more. So aside from that bill there, I had mentioned there’s a lot going on in Sacramento on this. So that’s sort of the CCS cement bill, but there’s a lot of focus on how do you decarbonize cement further? There was a bill last year, SB 596, which was passed into law that now directs CARB to come up with a framework to achieve carbon neutrality in the cement sector by 2045, and 40% reductions from the cement sector by 2035.

Ryan McCarthy:

This is something the industry signed on to, they are looking to achieve similar goals. And so that is moving forward. It’s pretty vague as to how they get there, so that’s something CARB is going to be exploring over the course of the next year or two. And then there are bills for how do you create the market pull to incentivize and reward low carbon cement in the industry? Senator Becker who passed 596 last year has another bill this year, SB 778, which would add concrete to the state’s Buy Clean framework and direct state agencies to procure concrete with lower carbon intensity, therefore creating that demand side pull for cement facilities that are reducing their emissions.

Ryan McCarthy:

There’s some other bills too. The last one I’ll mention is SB 1297, which actually looks at making buildings net negative emissions. And how do you sequester carbon in building materials? So that was one of the points. It’s not just geologic sequestration of carbon oxide, but you can use it to make materials, fuels, rocks, steaks, diamonds, guitars, vodka, anything. And then people are thinking of lots of crazy stuff out there. But one of them is, rocks are directly injecting it into concrete and storing it there.

Ryan McCarthy:

So concrete itself is a pretty interesting material, and I think opportunity for framing this discussion around carbon dioxide’s, both carbon [inaudible 00:19:06] and carbon capturing sequestration. So I’ll stop there, and look forward to the discussion.

Katelyn Roedner:

Thanks, Ryan. Diane’s going to go a level deeper on SB 905.

Diane Doucette:

[inaudible 00:19:35]. You don’t have to shut it.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible 00:19:43]. Sorry.

Diane Doucette:

That’s okay. It’s all right if we don’t have it.

Speaker 5:

Okay. Probably if you want to get started I’ll try to-

Diane Doucette:

Yeah. I think that might be distracting. I think I have it down here.

Speaker 5:

Okay.

Diane Doucette:

Okay. Hi, everyone. I’m getting into set and I’m really happy to be here also. As Ryan said, it’s great to be at conferences again in person. For me, I’m especially happy because I’m working on California climate issues again. I spent the first 10 years of this decade working on climate policies here in California, and then in 2009, I went federal. And so I was working on federal policies and then working in the Midwest and the Southeast and the Northeast building coalitions to support clean energy.

Diane Doucette:

And it was great, but I was longing to be [inaudible 00:20:51]. I was living in California the whole time. So about a year ago, my former colleague called me and said, “Hey, do you want to help me build a team of folks that could work on making sure we achieve California’s climate goals, maybe even exceed them as well?” So my colleague is Bob Epstein, and I think a lot of you know him. He’s been working in the climate field for over 20 years. And so together we created this project, it’s called Project 2030.

Diane Doucette:

And basically what it is, it’s not an organization, it’s a team. We put together a team of climate advocates, scientists, engineers and some entrepreneurs who have been working on climate policies around the country, particularly in California for the last two decades. And our goal is mostly to achieve and exceed California’s 2030 and 2045 climate goals. Most of us are connected on this team. We have several different teams. We’re connected through our work with NRDC and Environmental Entrepreneurs. Bob Epstein started Environmental Entrepreneurs. I ran the climate campaign there for many, many years.

Diane Doucette:

So last year we worked on 596 that Ryan mentioned. We did the background research for that. And then we handed it over to other organizations that could take it further. And this year we sponsored SB 905. It’s one of the ways we look at like, if we don’t have all the pathways to achieve our 2030, 2045 goals, can we create new ones? And what are the creative solutions here? And so just in a nutshell, SB 905 directs the State of California to create one to three demonstration projects to sequester the carbon that’s been captured from cement.

Diane Doucette:

And I’ll put more details out there though. But just to think of it before I go through the principles. Demonstration projects, capturing carbon from cement and sequestering it. So the principles that we use are that CCS and CDR should not extend the life of fossil fuels. That’s a given for us. A lot of controversy comes from wanting the fossil fuel industry to participate as much as they can in this process. And on the point you were making earlier, and that’s a great discussion point, we can have. If they’re going to be emitting it should be captured while we still have the fossil fuel industry.

Diane Doucette:

The second principle is do no harm. We want to make sure that the way we capture and sequester carbon does not impact local communities, does not increase emissions or pollutants in local communities. And that’s in the bill as well, make sure that we’re not causing any harm. And not only in the local community but in the adjacent ones as well. And the last principle that we used is that CCS and CDR should not be used as a substitute for direct emissions. There are direct emissions, even in the cement industry that they can use, and I’ll talk a little bit about that.

Diane Doucette:

So SB 905. It directs the state to create one to three demonstration projects to permanently sequester carbon from cement, deep down in deep geologic storages. Projects must include carbon from cement, but if there’s capacity in the sequestration site, it can also include carbon from legacy emissions, and it can also use, do carbon that’s been sustainably captured from say waste biomass, if there’s capacity for that. As long as it’s not fossil fuel related. And there have to be community benefits. And we have some of the community benefits in the bill.

Diane Doucette:

And I think this is a really important area that we’re going to all need to work on for this to make sure we get it right. So some of the community benefits that are talked about they were air quality benefits, economic and jobs benefits, educational, housing and community benefits. Another thing the bill does, is it determines who owns the core space. For those of you that know about geologic sequestration, it’s down quite about a mile deep is the core space. That’s the open space where the carbon will be injected into. And we have determined on the bill, it’s not a law yet, that it should be the surface owners who own that.

Diane Doucette:

The other part of that, the other question it could be is the mineral rights holders. If people already own mineral rights for that area, they get to hold onto it for the core space, but they don’t own the whole sequestration site. We could talk more about that if that comes up. The bill also creates more coordinated permitting process. I don’t know if you saw the Lawrence Livermore study on permitting for CCS. Oh my God, it’s really intense. And so we want it to be a more coordinated permitting process, but it has to be equally rigorous.

Diane Doucette:

So we’re not touching sequoia at all. We’re just trying to take out some of the inefficiencies that exist there. That’s going to be an interesting process. It’s local, state, federal, tribal. Lots of different agencies have different permits. And the last thing the bill does is it creates a hub for research near one of the geologic sequestration sites. So we’re hoping that it’s going to be done through UC, CSU or a community college.

Diane Doucette:

So we had three imperatives that we were responding to for this bill. One was the climate crisis. Time is not on our side. We have to reduce, capture, store quickly and equitably. And we need to build California sequestration infrastructure. We need all the mitigation strategies for sure, but we also need additional pathways. We could do 100% renewable energy, phase out fossil fuels, we’d do 100% electric vehicles, maximum energy efficiency, incorporate all the natural solutions, and we would still have giga tons of carbon in the atmosphere.

Diane Doucette:

So we have to take the carbon and we have carbon from [inaudible 00:27:19] sectors and then waste biomass issues. So we have to figure out a place to store it. So that’s what this bill is mostly focusing on the sequestration angle. So that’s basically it in a nutshell. We can talk more about it, but we always think we have to get this right. We have a lot of bills in the legislature this session that are looking at CCS, some CDR, and we have an opportunity to design them right. What we do today will impact what the climate is like down the road. The next three years are really important for this.

Diane Doucette:

And one of the things I wanted to mention also is community benefits that we have in the bill. I think this is a great opportunity for all the organizations that care about this issue to work together and to create the model for community benefits. That’ll be not just in this bill, but in all the CCS bills going forward and maybe could serve as a national model as well. But we have a couple of months before the bill passes, there’s lots of experts out there on community benefits. We’d love to have them at the table working with us on that. That’s it. Thank you so much.

Katelyn Roedner:

Is this on? Can you hear me talk? Okay, excellent. Then maybe we can do some questions just right here and I’ll start with one, and then we’ll get an audience question, so get ready. I guess the first thing, and I mentioned this at the top, how does transportation fit into this? So you capture the carbon in a cement plant and it’s going to be permanently sequestered if SB 905 is sort of the model we’re following. What are the options for getting the CO2 from the capture site to the storage site? I presume pipelines, rails, trucks. All of those have benefits but trade-offs as well, so I don’t know, which one of you would like to start first and opine on transportation?

Diane Doucette:

Well, I would say those are the three. And when we did our background research for 905, we certainly have folks looking at all the different options. We’re going to have to do something. We’re going to have to do something quickly. We’re going to do transportation and then having trucks that would have to be electric vehicle trucks. But how many trucks would you need to do this kind of sequestration? So you have to do a life’s analysis, what is that?

Katelyn Roedner:

Life cycle analysis.

Diane Doucette:

Life cycle analysis to do that. We’ve also talked to like Union Pacific, because they have a train actually that’s near the cement facility that we could compress the carbon and put on that. There’s some downsides to that. There’s downsides for all of them. There could be leaks for that one. And then there’s the pipeline, which is probably the most economical and maybe the most controversial, I’m not sure. It’s probably where we have the most experience in doing, transporting the fuels and gases over the pipeline. But those are on the table. I think Ryan probably has more information on that. But if you get funded to do one of the demonstration projects, you have to have a plan for what transportation is going to be.

Ryan McCarthy:

Yeah. The thing I would add here is I think part of it, those are certainly the three and there’s economies of scale. If and when we decide where CO2 or carbon capture as in it’s a big part of our climate solution, all of a sudden you want to imagine a pipeline network and figure out the potential clusters. Stanford did a study about six potential hubs which would be clusters for CO2 capture. And you’re trying ultimately to minimize your transportation costs. That is the big or one of the big barriers here. And if you can find certain spots to sequester carbon, then you can figure out more regional networks rather than a huge transportation network.

Ryan McCarthy:

But getting to that point and that planning, it entails a commitment to CCS as a broader solution. So in the earlier time, when we were demonstrating projects, it is probably rail, if we have access to that or truck. So I think one piece to just throw out as part of this is it’s all sort of related to this big question that we haven’t answered about what role do we want this to play? The other piece I would add in there in terms of transportation is the utilization piece. So if you do want to do a carbon capture project, and you’re either the only one out there, or if we do have this built out network, but you’re nowhere near it, what do you do?

Ryan McCarthy:

And you either don’t capture your carbon or you come up with a different solution for decarbonizing. Or potentially you can utilize the carbon to make fuels, building materials, store it in concrete, whatever. And so I think that’s part of the net question here and discussion too, as you’re trying to figure out the most economical way to do this is. Is pipeline, rail, truck, maybe barge and utilization? Which takes on a whole other set of… There’s a whole bunch of ways to utilize it. And ultimately you’re looking for either those offtake markets or those opportunities to transport and store.

Katelyn Roedner:

Great. Thank you. Yes.

Jennifer Love:

Hi, Jennifer Love of California [inaudible 00:33:02] and I have a two-part, I don’t know if that’s okay. So my first question is where are the building trades and labor on this topic generally? And then my other question is what does community education look like on this topic? The one carbon capture project that I’m aware of is California Resources Corporation and it’s for enhanced oil recovery. And so how do we message around this, that the people who are best positioned right now to take advantage of this, if they have an economic use case like that for something that we know there’s economic potential there, but it might not be what we want to use that for climate purposes?

Diane Doucette:

Sorry, I didn’t get the first part of your question.

Jennifer Love:

It was where the building trades, the labor are on the topic of carbon capture.

Diane Doucette:

I don’t know for the whole topic, but on our bill, they’re supporting it. So I would imagine. Do you know any differently on that?

Ryan McCarthy:

Yeah. I mean, this is one of the climate priorities for them. I think they want broader access and fewer limitations on carbon capture and what you do with it. But certainly they see it as a way to decarbonize their operations and continue to have their employees do what they do. So this is one of the topics that they’ve been engaging on. They’ve been engaging on like hydrogen as well. There’s a few sort of related but new areas where I think they’re really engaging on climate change.

Katelyn Roedner:

And the second part of her question was on-

Ryan McCarthy:

Yeah, I was hoping to find that one.

Katelyn Roedner:

… community education, and do you have-

Ryan McCarthy:

Was it enhanced oil recovery?

Jennifer Love:

Yeah.

Ryan McCarthy:

Yeah. So I mean, this is I think probably within this controversial topic, probably the controversial topic within the broader controversial topic or one of them. And what do we want to do around enhanced oil recovery? I think we just decide, and that’s obviously a political battle and fight and one that’s playing out, but 905 is trying to clarify, we don’t want to do enhanced oil recovery, at least for these pilots. And so, hopefully if we can decide on some of these sticky ones, it helps move it forward.

Katelyn Roedner:

Did you have anything you wanted to add on that?

Diane Doucette:

Yeah. Well, I know that our environmental justice community leaders are doing some education in the community. We have to educate on that. All CCS is not the same. We have to do something and great to get as many people around the table to share, what are the trade-offs? What are our options? But yes, CRC just got two permits to do geologic sequestration up there. So we have to create the right models for the education and the community development on this.

Diane Doucette:

And we have a leader in this room that I’m not going to point, you probably all know Dr. Catherine. She’s doing a lot of the work to help educate people. Sorry, I didn’t mean to point you out, but I think you deserve a lot of attention. But she’s up against those folks sometimes on the wrong.

Katelyn Roedner:

Yeah, Alice?

Alice:

So to dig into this a little bit further, the whole thing is, I don’t think anyone has problems with CCS, it’s just CCUS, utilization and storage. And I know that there’s Senate Bill 1314 of Limon this year, which would ban the use of captured carbon for enhanced oil recovery. So Ryan, when you said we just have to decide, like if California decided and we did pass SB 1314, would you in particular, do you think people would have a problem with it, like banning the use of enhanced oil recovery? Of course the fossil fuel industry would have a problem with it, but would anyone really else have a problem? Can we just get this off the table this year and pass SB 1314?

Katelyn Roedner:

Who wants to take that?

Diane Doucette:

I think some of the building trades may have a problem with it because-

Alice:

Why is that?

Diane Doucette:

Because a lot of them work to build the pipelines and the infrastructure for the fossil fuel industry, and there are a lot of jobs associated with that. I’m not speaking on their behalf, I just know that it’s not just fossil fuel, there’s a lot of job implications. I mean, we believe, and this is what we’re trying to tell the building trades also that these jobs just transfer, that if we’ll be building sequestration sites for non-fossil related fuels. So that’s what we’re trying to get across. That BOS is going to be an issue.

Katelyn Roedner:

Any thoughts [inaudible 00:38:01] you have?

Ryan McCarthy:

No. I mean, I think that if we said, we just decided, which is obviously an oversimplification, but if that were to pass, I think there would still be a lot of debate around the role of CCS and what to do with CCS. I think that’s obviously one hot button issue, but there’s others as well including, does a CCS project on a power plant somewhere or a refinery or whatever the source is, ultimately extend the life of that, and do we want that to happen? And if not, what do we want to do with the emissions in between? I think that’s what the energy and climate planners at the state are grappling with and what all the policy makers in Sacramento are debating and grappling too.

Speaker 5:

And also, I think folks who are afraid if we just do CCS that we’re not going to do direct emissions, which we really need to do, especially something like cement that’s out in the community, that’s emitting other pollutants that we have to capture those. We have to find ways to do more direct emissions. Plus capturing carbon is expensive, capturing and sequestering it. So to get all the emissions out as fast as possible is economically better. It’s better for the environment. And I think those companies that have to do it would rather do direct emissions. I imagine. Not all of them, not the oil industry or perhaps the fossil fuel industry. But it’s expensive to do it, so why would you be emitting all these emissions and then spending a lot more per ton to capture and store them? So you got to get them down.

Katelyn Roedner:

Yeah. I think we take the moderator’s prerogative and build on that a little bit, and that, I think there’s a lot of skepticism around CCS because it is seen potentially as an alternative for doing those direct emission reductions. Even though point source carbon capture technology does reduce emissions, I think it is seen as sort of this get out of jail free card. You just install this and you continue business as usual, and there’s a lot of concern about that. Now in reality, it’s extremely expensive, so that would be a very economically inefficient strategy, but that concern exists nonetheless. And so I think that’s one thing that is in SB 905, that facilities have to do all of this efficiency work ahead of time.

Diane Doucette:

But not yet.

Katelyn Roedner:

Not yet. It’s on our list though.

Speaker 5:

And I think you’ll have comments in on that, which we understand, absolutely.

Katelyn Roedner:

Precisely so it is not the easy out, but you have to do all those direct emission reductions first. But to Ryan’s point about why cement is so unique is because there’s a ton of process emissions. So even if you are super efficient and you burn less fossil fuel say, or you use less electricity or whatever your energy input is, you’re still producing a lot of emissions just in the process of making the cement. So anyway, I’ll stop there. But other questions. Yes, Catherine.

Catherine:

So first I’ll just introduce myself since [inaudible 00:41:35] called it out. So my name is Catherine, I’m the executive director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, or CVAQ. We’re actually sponsoring SB 1314, so glad that that was brought up. Our coalition does have a consensus space position that in fact, we are opposed to carbon capturing and storage because it’s expensive, it’s risky, and it’s most likely to be placed in already overburdened environmental justice communities. So while this conversation is specific to cement, we do have multiple proposed projects in the San Joaquin Valley, including several that are attached to old biomass plants. Some that will continue to perpetuate those dirty sources of energy and some that will repurpose them again in kind of unknown ways that we’re not sure what the implications of that are.

Catherine:

So there’s biomass, there’s enhanced oil recovery, there’s also just storage proposals. There’s a lot of different things that are coming down the pipeline that we’re trying to confront and kind of figure out the dynamics as we go. So two questions for the panel of things that we’ve heard generally from project proponents. And again, if this isn’t specific to cement, then feel free to table it. But one project proponent claimed that they could actually capture air pollution and inject it underground, which I’ve never heard before, so curious if there’s research about that.

Catherine:

And then in terms of the transport concerns that were raised earlier, the San Joaquin Valley obviously has a lot of pipelines from all of the oil production that are incredibly old and at risk of having massive leaks. So what consideration there’s been to the concept of a hub in places that kind of already have that infrastructure, but is that infrastructure actually ready for this type of technology that’s going to move a different type of substance through really old pipelines that probably weren’t actually designed to transport carbon? So those would be two tech-related questions.

Katelyn Roedner:

Who would like to start?

Diane Doucette:

I could start because you probably [inaudible 00:43:31]. I’ve never heard about capturing and storing air pollution. That just seems… Yeah. I haven’t heard. And as far as transporting, we share those concerns also. The bill addresses that the projects that will be chosen have to have a transportation plan. In order to get permitted for carbon sequestration, the rules are a little different than they are for like enhanced oil recovery. They’re stricter.

Diane Doucette:

Certainly, the fire marshal has to approve some of the new pipelines. I don’t think they’ll be using… Maybe the oil industry will be using the older pipeline. I don’t know. I don’t know if they’ll able to use what they’re using for DOR for sequestration. I’m not sure about that. But the gas companies told us originally that perhaps we could use some of their pipelines, but now that we know we can’t because the natural gas corrodes pipelines that would be used for CO2.

Ryan McCarthy:

Just to the first point, I’m not expert on this, and I think this is something Lawrence Livermore teed up in their report. I had mentioned this in my comments. And there’s different ways to capture carbon dioxide, but I think early indications are that at least many of the strategies do capture some other pollution with it. Not 100%, but I hear numbers 60% to 80% for certain [inaudible 00:45:09]. And some of the other ones, maybe not Knox, but that’s something that I think policy makers and again, folks like Livermore and others who are interested in this topic are researching and interested in getting a better handle on.

Ryan McCarthy:

Some of these processes do entail parasitic loads or additional energy loads. So sometimes there’s extra energy use associated with a carbon capture project, which can lead to additional emissions from that process. But hopefully if you’re capturing them at the same rate as you would, whatever’s coming from the stream of the CO2, there should be net air quality benefits as well compared to the current operations. But again, I don’t think it’s 100% and it’s maybe pretty variable depending on the pollutant.

Ryan McCarthy:

In terms of, and again, I’m not an expert, that’s my summary of a few of the reports I’ve read. On the pipeline, certainly hopefully a refurbished pipeline or a new pipeline would be designed with safety in mind. It’s worth noting that CO2 is not toxic and an emission of CO2 from a pipeline is no worse than what would happen if you weren’t capturing the carbon dioxide in the first place. And to the extent there’s some regulatory regime or something that’s either incentivizing or otherwise accounting for that, hopefully there would be ways to account for that.

Ryan McCarthy:

That said, there are some safety considerations and concerns with CO2 pipelines that we certainly want to take into account and be planning for. But on a whole, I think it’s a less concerning pipeline than an energy pipeline carrying a lot of energy and it’s flammable and contains other pollutants as well.

Diane Doucette:

Can I follow up on Catherine’s question because I think I misunderstood it, about capturing co-pollutants and other pollutants? I was focusing on sequestering them, and I was like, “Why would we be sequestering them?” But as far as capturing those, absolutely. We’ve talked to lots of folks that believe that you can capture co-pollutants as well. And in the bill, projects that actually reduce co-pollutants will get priority over the funding from sequestration. But yes, there are technologies that do allow you to capture the other co-pollutants and criteria pollutants.

Katelyn Roedner:

So other question? Yes.

Speaker 9:

[inaudible 00:47:58] series, I’m wondering is your connection… I’m wondering where the broader business community stands. Sorry. I’m wondering where the business community stands on this bill, especially on the clean energy side?

Diane Doucette:

We haven’t done a lot of outreach to the clean energy companies. We certainly know that anybody’s involved. I imagine they will be supportive on this. We haven’t done a lot of outreach to businesses, not yet. Most of our focus is really trying to make sure that we have something that is done in an equitable way and that protects local communities. That’s where our focus has been. I know that there are a lot of new technology companies that would be interested in this. We haven’t put the energy there yet. I think those are going to be supportive companies. And maybe not… Whisper is not supporting the bill, another carbon capture coalition that represents a lot of fossil fuel industry isn’t supporting the bill either.

Katelyn Roedner:

Other questions? Well, then I think we have-

Speaker 5:

We have five minutes.

Katelyn Roedner:

Okay. I have one other question then. So as we talked about sort of like cement having high process emissions, which makes it a unique candidate for carbon capture technology. And I think Ryan, you mentioned that you saw cement as a process that could potentially get broader or maybe SB 905 as sort of a process that could get broader. I guess I’m curious, are there other sectors then that you would see? Like if SB 905 turns out to be really successful, what would be the next sector that we would need to look at that would be similar to cement in terms of its unique need for CCS?

Ryan McCarthy:

I think the one that a lot of people look at is steel. We don’t have a lot of steel in California, so I think that’s more a national and international policy discussion than it is California. But really any industrial operation that requires high heat, high temperature. So steel, refining, glass, cement. You basically, there’s some people thinking that eventually we’ll get to electrification of those sectors, but basically the solutions today where we see them, I think in the foreseeable future are carbon dioxide or carbon capture and sequestration, biogas or biomass or hydrogen.

Ryan McCarthy:

And each of those are facing basically similar debates as the one we’re having right now. But for now those are the solutions to decarbonizing molecules. And at least where things stand now, we can’t necessarily electrify everything. So as we think about how to decarbonize the molecules that we do need, I think those are the options.

Katelyn Roedner:

Other questions from the audience?

Jennifer Love:

Yes, I have a question and I think it’s going to sound very naive, so if it does just say something.

Katelyn Roedner:

Quite all right.

Jennifer Love:

This is a very seismic state, so if we’re putting all of this into the ground, do we know what seismic activity will do? It kind of defeats the purpose if we have an earthquake that then releases all of that carbon back into the atmosphere.

Diane Doucette:

Yeah. That’s a great question. [crosstalk 00:51:45]. A lot of the permitting at the federal level, you need a certain kind of well in a Class VI permit. They’re not actually looking at seismicity because a lot of places don’t have it like California. So that is definitely going to be written into our bill. There has to be, you can’t build near fault lines and there’s certain requirements that will be along all those lines for seismicity.

Ryan McCarthy:

It’s a question for our geologist who’s not here, and certainly not a naive one, and certainly one that folks are considering in these debates. The engineers are very confident that you wouldn’t put it near a fault line, but at the same time the CO2 that you inject, and this is testing the extent of my engineering background, but it’s not a liquid, it’s a super critical fluid which behaves differently. I think it’s compressible underground, so it’s not like the more you put in necessarily that you’re just creating pressure down there. But again, I’m getting beyond my expertise, and so I’ll just say, it’s certainly recognized, certainly something that comes up in policy discussions and I think certainly something we need to discuss and appreciate. And I think it’s something that the engineers at the companies who are thinking about doing this are comfortable moving forward with in California.

Katelyn Roedner:

If anybody has a fast question, I think we have one minute. There are no fast questions on CCS. All right. Well, thank you all very much for joining us and your great questions and participation. Thank you very much to our two expert panelists here. Really appreciate this conversation. So yeah, thank you.