Senator Cassidy’s decision to place a hold on eminently qualified EPA nominees from the White House is wrong for Louisiana.
On Wednesday, February 16 Senator Bill Cassidy announced that he placed holds on the White House’s EPA nominations in an attempt to pressure the EPA to speed permitting of industry-backed carbon capture efforts in Louisiana. At issue is a bid by Louisiana to apply for regulatory “primacy,” shifting responsibility for approving carbon capture wells from the EPA to state regulators. In response, the Foundation for Louisiana released the following statement:
“Cassidy’s move to hold up these crucial nominations is a cynical move to eliminate any meaningful oversight of the industries and regulators that are responsible for much of the loss of Louisiana’s wetlands and the public health crisis that is Cancer Alley. This political leveraging of Louisianans comes at a time when oil and gas companies are mounting an aggressive push to sell unproven technologies like carbon capture and blue hydrogen in order to evade their responsibility to decarbonize.
There is too much at stake for the people of Louisiana, and for the world, to put such enormous local and global responsibilities in the hands of an underfunded, understaffed, and historically nonresponsive agency such as the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Overwhelming evidence shows that the processes of capturing, transporting, and permanently storing massive amounts of carbon emissions underground or below the seabed haven't been demonstrated at anything close to the scale now being proposed. Senator Cassidy's priorities must be on ending this harm to Louisiana communities, not not on propping up the very companies and processes that are in fact driving the climate crisis.”
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