Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2017

Center/Program

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Abstract

Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is vital to mitigate climate change. To date reduction efforts have primarily focused on minimizing the production of carbon dioxide during electricity generation, transport, and other activities. Going forward, to the extent that carbon dioxide continues to be produced, it will need to be captured before release. The captured carbon dioxide can then be utilized in some fashion, or it can be injected into underground geological formations – e.g., depleted oil and gas reserves, deep saline aquifers, or basalt rock reservoirs – where, it is hoped, it will remain permanently sequestered (“carbon capture and storage” or “CCS”). Research is currently being undertaken into the possibility of injecting carbon dioxide into the seabed. One study, involving researchers from Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, aims to identify possible injection sites in the seabed along the northeast coast of the U.S. It is anticipated that, following identification of suitable sites, a demonstration project will be undertaken to assess the feasibility of offshore CCS. This paper outlines key regulatory requirements for the demonstration project and any subsequent commercial operations.

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