Right before the end of 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed the public that it will be considering issuing four permits for Carbon TerraVault Storage Company to inject and store carbon dioxide underground long-term in Kern County, about 20 miles west of Bakersfield.
In response, Food & Water Watch’s California Director Chirag Bhakta issued the following statement:
“Carbon capture and storage projects like the one recently proposed by Carbon TerraVault Storage and the EPA are just another attempt by the fossil fuel industry to push false solutions over true climate actions. Carbon capture and storage simply cannot function as a sustainable climate solution as it is a prohibitively expensive process that requires significant untested and unproven infrastructure. Further, the transportation and storage of captured carbon can lead to leaks, accidents and explosions that can release toxic substances into the surrounding environment. This can result in severe health risks, particularly to communities already living on the frontline of the climate crisis.
“The only legitimate way to protect our communities and our climate from the assault of the fossil fuel industry is to stop drilling and fracking for fossil fuels. In addition, California must stop relying on unproven, unworkable schemes like carbon capture to reach our state’s climate goals. All carbon capture does is provide a lifeline to the oil and gas industry to maintain its status quo of climate pollution and environmental degradation.”
EPA and Kern County Planning and Natural Resources staff have scheduled four joint workshops that are open to the public, as well as an in-person public hearing during the public comment period, which closes on March 20.