ICJC Statement on Prairie Research Institute’s Carbon Capture Report

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Last week, the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign publicly released “Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage in Illinois,” a report requested by the Illinois General Assembly through Public Act 102-0341.

The report and Policy Supplement includes a preliminary assessment for Illinois policy makers on the implications, opportunities, and challenges of carbon capture technology, utilization, and storage in Illinois. Notably, the report does not include an assessment of Enhanced Oil Recovery, which is the most common utilization of sequestered carbon, and particularly relevant in Illinois given the thousands of gas and oil extraction wells in the state.

In response, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) released the following statement:

“The Prairie Research Institute’s carbon capture report clearly demonstrates that Illinois is woefully unprotected from the many risks associated with capturing, transporting, and injecting fossil fuel pollution into the earth. This wake-up call is timely, given the fossil fuel industry’s attempts to capture carbon at power plants and build a vast pipeline infrastructure through Illinois communities and farmland. There are extraordinary regulatory gaps at both the federal and state levels that leave Illinois landowners, local drinking water, and public health vulnerable to the serious risks from these projects. 

“The report lacks a comprehensive assessment of the climate impacts of carbon capture at coal plants and the risks of fossil fuel corporations using sequestered carbon to extract crude oil from Illinois fracking wells. Governor Pritzker and the Illinois legislature must ensure that additional analysis is conducted with robust public engagement on the regulatory protections needed to safeguard Illinois landowners, public health, drinking water, and our climate goals. In the interim, efforts to build out pipeline infrastructure and retrofit CCS onto dirty coal plants in Illinois should pause.”  

More information about carbon capture, utilization, and storage can be found at ilcleanjobs.org/ccsfacts.