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Published September 22, 2023
As chair of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA), Gov. Mark Gordon hosted a special workshop at Gillette College and the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) Sept. 21 to showcase efforts driving carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology in Western states.
As part of Gordon’s WGA Chair initiative, Decarbonizing the West, the workshop convened federal, state, local and industry stakeholders from around the West to discuss various aspects of CCUS, including federal programs, regulatory implications and technology implementation.
“I am honored that my fellow Western governors have supported my chairman’s initiative, focusing on bringing carbon capture, storage and utilization to the forefront of addressing the issue of how to remove CO2 from the atmosphere,” Gordon says. “Fossil fuels should not be the target of climate activists; it should be the management of CO2. This workshop is geared toward using carbon capture on coal-fired electric plants and an honest discussion of the use and storage of CO2 while bringing the attention it deserves as we work to ensure a sustainable energy future while addressing climate change by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.”
Managed by the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER), the ITC is a carbon capture and utilization test center located at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette. Opening its doors in 2018, the center provides space for technology developers to test their technologies using actual coal-based flue gas. It has been an influential fixture in bridging the gap between CCUS technology development and the possibility of commercial-scale deployment.
Gordon kicked off the workshop, followed by remarks from Brad Crabtree, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management.
The event also featured a panel discussion highlighting the current developers testing technology at the ITC facility. Afterward, attendees toured the test bays and surrounding area to learn more about the individual projects, including the Wyoming CarbonSAFE Project, SER’s flagship carbon management project.
“The technologies being evaluated at the ITC can be used to capture emissions in Wyoming and across the country,” says Holly Krutka, SER executive director. “We’re thrilled to be able to share the work being done at ITC and Wyoming with leaders from other Western states.”
In addition to the technology showcase, emphasis was placed on the regulatory implications for CCUS and the preliminary work that has been done in Wyoming to complement the novel technologies and address legal and regulatory challenges associated with the emerging industry.
Tara Righetti, an SER professor of law and the Occidental Chair in Energy and Environmental Policies, was featured on a panel to discuss regulatory barriers that impede the research, development and implementation of CCUS and other carbon management technologies in the West.
“The Class VI framework presents numerous unique land and regulatory challenges to CCUS for landowners and developers, which may become particularly complicated when applied to projects including mixed federal and private lands,” Righetti says. “States have an opportunity to address many of these issues through legislation and coordination efforts. This workshop presented a wonderful opportunity for us to share the work we are doing in Wyoming, to learn from leaders in other Western states, and to work together toward solutions to shared challenges.”
A recording of the event can be watched on WGA’s YouTube channel.