What can CCS learn from hydraulic fracturing acceptance?

by Alex Frumkin

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) faces potential obstacles when it comes to the development and deployment of the technology. Many of these challenges are strikingly similar to those faced by proponents of hydraulic fracturing, especially the challenge of social acceptance of this technology. Due to these similarities, Wolff et al. 2014 uses hydraulic fracturing as a comparison to identify potential strategies for future carbon capture and storage efforts. When using hydraulic fracturing industry as a comparison the authors consider not only the act of fracturing, but also the process of obtaining mineral rights and the waste removal process. This comparison is achieved by completing statistical analysis on the relationship between state demographics and the stringency of state regulations of the hydraulic fracturing industry. Ultimately, the authors find that states that are familiar with the oil and gas industry have less variable regulation of hydraulic fracturing. In addition, they recognize a disconnect between the regulations of hydraulic fracturing at the state level and at the local level. This tension suggests that carbon storage proponents should focus on local engagement not just on state level. Continue reading