Sunday, May 10, 2009

Missouri utilities seek cap on liability from carbon sequestration

From an article by Chad Livengood • • March 25, 2009

Jefferson City - Fearing the federal government may soon start taxing carbon emissions, Missouri utility companies are seeking caps on legal liability for injuries sustained from the process of carbon sequestration.

Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from smoke stacks and injecting the harmful greenhouse gas into geological formations.

City Utilities of Springfield is currently leading a $3 million pilot project to test the viability of the emerging technology at its 1,000-acre power plan on the city's southwest side. "

"CU officials and lobbyists for municipal and investor-owned power companies testified Tuesday before a House committee in favor of a bill limiting liabilities for potential accidents resulting from this technology to $2 million per site and $300,000 per individual."

It goes on to say -

"Supporters of the legislation say there is no harm in the process of drilling down 2,000 and pumping carbon dioxide emissions into Missouri's sandstone deposits.

But critics of the legislation questioned why the utility companies need legal liability protection if there's no danger involved.

“If there's no risk, there's no harm. If there's no harm, then there's no liability. If there's no liability, then there's no need for a waiver of liability,” said David Klarich, a lobbyist for the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys."