GOP senator blocks Biden EPA nominees over energy project delays

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy placed a hold on all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominees after the Biden administration delayed approval of carbon capture projects in his home state.

Cassidy, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, explained that the projects have remained stalled since October 2021, in a statement Wednesday. The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources previously applied for federal approval to permit, site and monitor underground wells that store carbon.

Louisiana, which has set a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030, wants to control regulation of the wells, NOLA reported in May 2021.

“Louisiana is the ideal location to store carbon underground and lower emissions,” Cassidy said. “We have met the requirements and we have the workers, capacity and resources to begin this process. All that’s needed is the green light from the Biden administration.”

“The EPA has emphasized their desire to lower emissions and ensure a healthy environment yet hinders Louisiana’s ability to do just that,” the Republican senator added.

Cassidy met with EPA Administrator Michael Regan after placing the hold on the nominees, according to his office.

Carbon capture and sequestration is an advanced technology whereby greenhouse gas emissions are removed from the air and stored in underground wells. The technology is a key part of global climate initiatives and has received bipartisan support in Congress.

States are able to request the authority to regulate carbon capture storage wells from the EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.

The EPA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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