Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Statement on the Introduction of the SAFE CCS Act (SB1289)

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) regulatory bill passed out of House Energy and Environment Committee, advocates urge floor passage

Springfield, IL. — Today, Representative Ann Williams introduced House Amendment 3 of the Safety and Aid for the Environment in Carbon Capture and Sequestration Act (SAFE CCS Act), which includes some of the strongest carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) protections in the nation. This landmark legislation will safeguard Illinois communities and our land and water amidst an influx of federal tax incentives and a growing interest from industry to make Illinois ground zero for CCS projects.

CCS projects have already been proposed across the state despite a woeful lack of state and federal regulations. The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) and Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines engaged with stakeholders to draft the SAFE CCS Act (SB1289) to ensure these projects do not move forward without basic safety and environmental protections. The bill includes common-sense safeguards that require capture facilities to demonstrate a net reduction in climate pollution, ensures pipeline projects aren’t approved before the federal government finalizes safety and oversight rules, and requires corporations to pay for enhanced emergency services and planning.

Senior Campaign Representative of Sierra Club Illinois Christine Nannicelli shared the following statement on behalf of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition in response to the bill’s introduction:

“The SAFE CCS Act ensures critical guardrails are in place to protect Illinois taxpayers, landowners and our environment from the risks associated with capturing, transporting and injecting fossil fuel pollution into the earth. The Prairie Research Institute’s 2023 carbon capture report clearly demonstrated that Illinois is woefully unprotected from the many risks associated with these projects, and this bill takes urgent steps forward to address those gaps. In addition, Illinois joins California as the only two states in the nation to ban the use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.

“SB1298 is a compromise. It does not include every protection our coalition fought for, and these safeguards will likely need to evolve over time as this technology is deployed at scale. Nonetheless, it represents some of the strongest protections in the country, and also represents the incredible work of hundreds of concerned residents who have been fighting for years against carbon capture threats in their communities. The SAFE CCS Act is a powerful step forward, and we urge the Illinois General Assembly to pass the bill.”