We’re now past the halfway point of the session. Six of the nine House CCS bills have now been effectively killed in the House Natural Resources Committee. HB 10 and HB 35 were involuntarily deferred in this week’s committee meeting on Wednesday, which essentially means the bills were voted down. HB 10 sought to remove eminent domain authority for CCS projects. If the eminent domain bill had passed, it could have effectively stopped most CCS projects around the state as eminent domain is a tool of last resort to obtain permission to acquire rights from a landowner who generally cannot be located, is deceased without a succession, or may be a single holdout. HB 35 was a local bill that proposed to prohibit CCS projects in St. Helena Parish. The prohibition in St. Helena would have eliminated any CCS projects in that parish and could have set a precedent for other areas of the state to seek the same local control over what is otherwise a statewide regulated industry. The Speaker’s comprehensive HB 571 passed the House floor on Thursday. The Speaker’s bill passing moves this bill closer to becoming law, which would provide additional notice to local government of future CCS projects and also provide local governments with revenue sharing with the state on CCS projects on state owned land. The remaining 2 bills involving Lake Maurepas are scheduled for a vote on the House floor next week on May 15.
For some additional flavor on the debate on HB 571 on the House floor, here is a list of amendments which were proposed by other members but failed to be adopted by the House:
- An Amendment to remove eminent domain authority for subsurface rights for CCS projects;
- An Amendment to prohibit carbon dioxide underground storage until Louisiana receives primacy from the federal government;
- An Amendment to require the CCS entity to send a copy of any CCS expropriation suit to local government officials and the corresponding state legislators at the time of filing;
- An Amendment to require a CCS operator in an expropriation suit to provide the landowner with copies of all pore space leases with other owners in the reservoir;
- An Amendment to require notice be given to the legislators in a parish at the same time when notice is required to be given to local parish government regarding a CCS project;
- An Amendment to increase the revenue that local parish receives from CCS projects on state land from 30% to 40%.
Liskow will share regular updates throughout the Louisiana Legislative Session about CCS legislation on this blog and our website.
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