It was another productive week at the Capitol.
We were at the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee on Monday to show our support for Rep. DeVillier’s HB 172, which would reduce the severance tax on oil from 12.5% to 8.5%.
Unfortunately, it looks like this bill has reached the end of the line. The committee decided that we couldn’t afford the fiscal note on it this year. That being said, this is good progress in moving the conversation forward. Last session, this bill didn’t even make it out of the House Committee. This year, we saw it make it out of committee AND pass the full House. We hope that Rep. DeVillier continues to move this forward next session, and we’ll be back to support it again.
Some good news – two more anti-CCUS bills have been killed on the House floor. HB 120 (Muscarello), which would have prohibited the permitting of above-surface structures on Lake Maurepas died by a vote of 72-27. HB 267 (Wheat), which would have put a 10-year moratorium on carbon capture projects on the lake, died by a vote of 75-24.
This puts all but one of the anti-CCUS bills to bed. We have successfully defeated:
- HB 120
- HB 267
- HB 10 (Carter): Removes eminent domain authority of carbon capture facility operators
- HB 35 (Carter): Bans carbon capture projects in St. Helena Parish
- HB 453 (Mack): Requires that carbon dioxide injected for geologic sequestration using a Class VI injection well be transported to and sequestered in a storage facility in the Gulf of Mexico
- HB 454 (Mack): Requires a local election for the approval of carbon dioxide sequestration within a parish
The only bill remaining is HB 312 (Carter), which places strict liability for damages attributable to owners of carbon capture storage facilities. That bill is waiting to be heard in the House Committee on Civil Law & Procedure.
More good news – We were at the Senate Transportation Committee yesterday in support of Rep. Romero’s HB 398, which would provide GPS tracking units on all life jackets on helicopters transporting from offshore. This legislation will save lives, and we’re proud to stand in support. This bill passed out of committee.
Additionally, Speaker Schexnayder’s HB 571, which would create a broader set of rules for Louisiana’s carbon capture industry in anticipation of a large number of projects in the coming years, as well as give 30% of the money collected by the state for carbon stored underneath state-owned property to local governments, passed out of the Senate Natural Resources committee.
Both of these bills will now go to the full Senate for final passage.