WeConservePA staff sent a letter to senators expressing opposition to SB 831 (PN 921), the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Act, as currently written. The letter is included below as text, a screenshot image, and as a linked pdf.

Link to pdf of letter.

Text of letter:

February 5, 2024

Re. SB 831 Carbon Capture
Harmful as Drafted

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 75 member organizations of WeConservePA and their more than 100,000 Pennsylvania members, I write to express WeConservePA’s concerns with aspects of SB 831 (PN 921), the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Act.

The member organizations of WeConservePA have made substantial long-term investments in conserving land to provide a variety of benefits for the people of the commonwealth. Sixty-eight land trusts own 122,868 acres of land; another 293,806 acres are protected with conservation easements purchased by or donated to these organizations. As owners of real property interests, land trusts have a stake in the final form and outcome of this legislation.

Rising atmospheric carbon levels pose a serious threat to humanity. However, establishing a regulatory framework for carbon dioxide capture and sequestration should not result in damage to decades of conservation achievements that protect water quality, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and other conservation values.

Section 5(a)(2) of the bill outlines a unitization mechanism by which surface property interest owners would be compelled to participate in a carbon storage project if 60% of the pore space owners provide written consent. This forced approach could indiscriminately impose surface infrastructure development on conserved land, diminishing the public benefits provided by any number of properties conserved over the last several decades.

We respectfully urge you to revise the bill to address adverse consequences of unitization as presently designed, such as by including language that would respect the property rights of landowners, allowing carbon dioxide injection well infrastructure to be sited only where landowners are willingly participating in the project, and taking other measures that would reduce or eliminate the potential harm to the conservation values of protected land.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andrew M. Loza
Executive Director
cc: member organizations

Image capture of letter: