• A wave of carbon dioxide injection well permits will bring either a boon of low-carbon energy, or a diversion from renewable energy efforts.
Backed by the promise of billions in federal dollars, energy companies are lining up to accept an invitation by Wyoming officials to collect industrial sources of carbon dioxide and pump it deep underground.
Essentially, the vision is to build a new low-carbon energy industry that scrubs the planet-warming gas from fossil fuels, keeping those fuels in the energy mix and simultaneously helping to address the climate crisis in a way that pays dividends to developers and the state.
Not only has the state spent years testing its subterranean capacity to permanently store carbon dioxide, it has devoted more than a decade to building a legal and regulatory framework to win the federal government’s approval. Only Wyoming and North Dakota have won primacy over the federal program to permit such activities.
Now, the state’s top environmental regulator is considering the first in what many expect to be a wave of permit applications to drill the deep wells necessary to launch the new industry.