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Control of Geological Carbon Sequestration in the Western United States

May 2011

Citation: ELR 10455

Author: Arnold W. Reitze Jr. and Marie Bradshaw Durrant

In the near future, the use of coal may be legally restricted due to concerns over the effects of its combustion on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Carbon capture and geologic sequestration offer one method to reduce carbon emissions from coal and other hydrocarbon fuel. While the federal government is providing increased funding for carbon capture and storage, congressional legislative efforts to limit carbon emissions have failed. However, regional and state bodies have taken significant actions both to regulate carbon and to facilitate its capture and storage. Part 1 of this Article, published last month, discussed how regional bodies and state governments are addressing the technical and legal problems that must be resolved in order to have a viable carbon storage program. Part 2 of the Article discusses the western state legal developments that encourage carbon storage.

Arnold W. Reitze Jr. is Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah's Institute for Clean & Secure Energy; J.B. and Maurice Shapiro Professor Emeritus of Environmental Law, The George Washington University. Marie Bradshaw Durrant is an attorney with Holland & Hart in Salt Lake City and a former Legal Fellow with the University of Utah Institute for Clean & Secure Energy.

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