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1) Sept 14 -- Comment period extended until September 30, 2023. https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-19877
 
2) Aug 11 -- [press release] Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced in the Federal Register its intent to launch a “Responsible Carbon Management Initiative.” The Initiative aims to encourage and recognize project developers and others in industry to pursue the highest levels of safety, environmental stewardship, accountability, community engagement, and societal benefits in carbon management projects.

Managing carbon emissions at scale through the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial facilities and power plants, removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, conversion of captured carbon emissions into low and zero-emission products, and the transport and geologic storage of CO2 is essential to meeting our climate goals and the 1.5°C target. When deployed responsibly, carbon management is complementary, and not a replacement for, expanded and parallel efforts to reduce emissions through energy efficiency, renewable, nuclear power, clean hydrogen, and other clean energy technologies and measures. . . .

FECM is seeking public input on the Principles and the general approach to the Initiative. The draft Principles for the Responsible Carbon Management Initiative can be accessed for review and comment in the Federal Register here. FECM encourages all stakeholders, including industry, nongovernmental organizations, labor, state and local officials, Tribal leaders, community organizations, and the public, to take this opportunity to help shape what a responsible carbon management future should look like.

The Principles currently outlined in the Responsible Carbon Management Initiative include the following eleven categories: Community Engagement; Workforce Development and Quality Jobs; Tribal Consultation; Environmental Justice; Environmental Responsibility; Air and Water Quality; Regulatory Requirements; Health and Safety; Emergency Response; Transparency; and Long-Term Stewardship. The deadline for submitting comments is September 11, 2023.  

Once the Principles are finalized, project developers can publicly pledge to abide by them by filling out an intake form that requests details from project developers on how they will address the Principles and incorporate them into the implementation of their projects. FECM intends to make this information public on its website.

FECM will also encourage non-industry stakeholders to consider formally endorsing the Principles. Through their endorsement, these stakeholders will affirm the important role that carbon management plays in meeting climate goals, including net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, along with the importance of delivering economic and environmental benefits to communities hosting carbon management projects.

https://www.energy.gov/fecm/articles/us-department-energy-announces-its-intent-launch-responsible-carbon-management

2) Aug 11 FRN -- The Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) is issuing this NOI to notify interested parties of its intent to launch a “Responsible Carbon Management Initiative” to recognize and encourage project developers and others in industry to pursue the highest levels of safety, environmental stewardship, accountability, community engagement, and societal benefits in carbon management projects. The Department also seeks input from all stakeholders through this RFI regarding the draft Principles for Responsible Carbon Management Projects and the Initiative. Written comments and information are requested by September 11, 2023.

In November 2021, Congress passed and President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. L. 117–58), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The BIL provides historic levels of funding to modernize and upgrade American infrastructure to enhance U.S. competitiveness, drive the creation of good-paying jobs, tackle the impacts of climate change, and ensure strong access to economic, environmental, and other benefits for disadvantaged communities. The BIL appropriates more than $62 billion to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to invest in American manufacturing and workers; expand access to energy efficiency and clean energy; deliver reliable, clean, and affordable power to more Americans; and demonstrate and deploy clean energy technologies.

To support the goal of building a clean and equitable energy economy, the BIL-funded projects are required to (1) support meaningful community and labor engagement; (2) invest in America's workforce; (3) advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and (4) contribute to the President's goal that 40% of the overall benefits flow to disadvantaged communities.

Carbon management approaches such as carbon capture, transport, and storage and carbon dioxide removal are essential climate tools for meeting 1.5 °C targets. When deployed responsibly, these approaches are complementary, and not a replacement for, parallel efforts to reduce emissions through the deployment of energy efficiency, renewables, nuclear power, clean hydrogen, etc.

As part of the BIL, DOE will deploy approximately $12 billion in new carbon management funding over five years, largely for direct air capture and carbon capture, transport, use, and storage. And the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA, Pub. L. 117–169), which features a comprehensive package of clean energy and industrial tax credits, includes the most ambitious incentives in the world to date for the deployment of carbon management technologies. Taken together, BIL and IRA have the potential to incentivize large scale commercial deployment of carbon management projects.

DOE FECM intends to launch a “Responsible Carbon Management Initiative” (Initiative) to recognize and encourage project developers and others in industry to pursue the highest levels of safety, environmental stewardship, accountability, community engagement, and societal benefits in carbon management projects. The Initiative will also aim to encourage transparency and learning through greater data and information sharing among industry, governments, communities, and other stakeholders.

This Initiative will be sequenced in two phases. In Phase 1, FECM intends to publish Principles for Responsible Carbon Management Projects (Principles). Companies can pledge to abide by the Principles, which include the following categories: Community Engagement, Workforce Development and Quality Jobs, Tribal Consultation, Environmental Justice, Environmental Responsibility, Air and Water Quality, Regulatory Requirements, Health and Safety, Emergency Response, Transparency, and Long-Term Stewardship. The Principles apply to the full range of carbon management technologies—including carbon capture, transport, use, and storage, as well as carbon dioxide removal technologies. FECM's goal for this initial phase of the Initiative is to facilitate industry intention and transparency regarding responsible carbon management deployment.

Project developers interested in demonstrating their commitment to responsible carbon management projects will complete an intake form, which may require describing how they plan to meet the Principles. FECM plans to publish the information from the completed intake forms on DOE's website. In addition, FECM will encourage project developers to publish information on how they are implementing the Principles on their own websites.

FECM will also encourage nongovernmental organizations, labor, State and local officials, and Tribal leaders (non-industry stakeholders) to consider formally endorsing the Principles. By endorsing, these stakeholders will affirm the important role that carbon management plays in meeting climate goals but also the importance of delivering societal and environmental co-benefits to communities hosting carbon management projects. FECM intends to publish non-industry stakeholder endorsements on DOE's website.

Interested industry and non-industry stakeholders can indicate their early support of the Principles and the Initiative by contacting responsiblecarbonmanagementinitiative@hq.doe.gov. In Phase 2, FECM intends to provide technical assistance through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Through this FOA, FECM would provide resources to support project developers seeking to meet the Principles or other aspects of this effort (including increasing transparency or third-party verification). FECM intends Phase 2 to focus on evaluation of Principle implementation, accountability, and leadership. FECM does not anticipate requiring participation in Phase 1 as a prerequisite for participation in Phase 2.

Provided that Phases 1 and 2 are successful, FECM may consider developing a robust recognition program to increase and maintain visibility of industry leaders and projects that significantly advance responsible carbon management. The program would include more detailed guidance and metrics on what qualifies for recognition and would be subject to the availability of sufficient resources and funding. There may be the possibility for a FOA to be issued as part of this recognition program.

DOE Principles for Responsible Carbon Management Projects . . . .

FECM is requesting comment on the Principles and the Initiative. The Principles are intended to provide project developers with a high-level framework for executing carbon management projects responsibly. DOE specifically welcomes comment on the following questions:

1. Would the Initiative and the Principles be likely to meaningfully advance responsible carbon management? If not, what changes could be made to better advance this goal?
2. At a high level, do the Principles address what is needed for responsible carbon management? If not, what additional principles may be needed?
3. In what ways, if any, could the Principles be revised to better reflect responsible carbon management?
4. Once finalized, would you agree to pledge to abide by or endorse the Principles? If not, what changes could be made to Phase 1 to encourage you to pledge to abide by or endorse the Principles?
5. How could Phase 2 and a recognition program be structured and executed to maximize adoption of the Principles?
6. Would the technical assistance envisioned in Phase 2 be helpful to advance responsible carbon management projects? Would you take advantage of this service or encourage others to take advantage? If not, why not?
 
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-17218

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