On Thursday, news broke of a spill from the Keystone pipeline. The 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of toxic tar sands oil that was discharged into South Dakota grasslands was the largest spill on the Keystone to date. But every day, the oil industry intentionally discharges far greater volumes of toxic wastewater in the environment, and nobody seems to notice.
While CCUS may eventually prove to be a viable strategy for addressing climate change, using captured carbon to increase the production of oil and gas undermines the climate mitigation goals of carbon capture and storage. At the same time, CO2-EOR presents risks to groundwater, the environment, and the health of communities living near oil fields. As a known threat to drinking water sources, enhanced oil recovery is regulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program.
Fossil fuel champions repeatedly introduce legislation to eliminate the long-term monitoring requirements for enhanced oil recovery operations that use carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act, introduced by Senator Hoeven and Daines, is a pure handout to the oil industry.
New legislation dubbed the FUTURE Act is supposedly a climate solution. But in reality the FUTURE Act would put drinking water at risk, encourage more oil drilling without putting adequate protections in place, and add to the more than $20 billion in taxpayer subsidies the oil and gas industry enjoys every year.