Carbon Capture Storage Is Key to California’s Economy & Energy Future

March 14, 2024

The global energy landscape is rapidly evolving with California often leading the way.

Today, the energy industry is tasked with meeting increasing demand while reducing its emissions and diversifying existing energy production with new and innovative technologies.

However, as the industry continues to adapt, these new energy technologies must protect the energy economy while addressing the need to limit environmental impacts.

Carbon capture and storage is an essential tool in achieving these goals, allowing California producers to meet heightened demand in an environmentally and economically sustainable way by capturing CO2 produced through industrial processes and storing it beneath the earth’s surface. This keeps carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere, improving air quality and mitigating the effects of climate change right here in our backyard.

CCS Produces Financial Dividends

The economic impact of CCS is equally as impressive. This is key in our support of the technology.  As an organization uniting 75-plus businesses, 30,000 employers, and 400,000 employees focused on driving policies to create a stronger economy, BizFed Central Valley sees CCS expansion as a key factor in our mission.

In California, converting existing energy production facilities and creating new ones capable of supporting CCS would create around 5,400 new jobs in the construction and logistics industry, in addition to hundreds of additional permanent opportunities in facility management once the facilities are completed. Thanks to existing programs through the California Energy Commission, among other groups, these jobs can be filled by locals through expansive job training and career advising services. All these factors combined make CCS and economic winner for our communities.

California is already home to several CCS projects, with major energy companies – such as California Resources CompanyAera Energy, and Calpine – making significant investments right here in Kern County through their very own carbon capture projects. These projects are big wins for our state’s energy sector, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Our economy and our workforce have the ability and the capacity to attract even more new projects like these.

To create a more sustainable energy future and realize clean energy’s full range of economic benefits, California must continue to invest in CCS and promote its development. Other states like Texas and Wyoming are already heavily invested in CCS and are enjoying the economic advantages. California has always been at the forefront of new technologies. Continued investment will make sure we retain this position on CCS.

To keep our state from being left behind and to continue attracting investment in this critical technology, it is imperative that California promote policies that encourage CCS development, not hinder it. Ultimately, it is up to our state’s elected leaders and business community to position us as the leader in the energy transition and a pioneer in CCS advancement.

About the Author

Clint Olivier is the CEO of Central Valley Business Federation, a Clovis Unified School Board member, and a former Fresno City Councilman.