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American Carbon Registry Approves Carbon Capture and Storage Offset Methodology

SACRAMENTO, April 27, 2015

The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, announced today the approval of a carbon offset methodology for the measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with carbon capture and storage (CCS) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in geologic formations. The methodology was developed by Blue Strategies, LLC, an affiliate of Blue Source, LLC.

CCS technologies prevent CO2 emissions pro­duced from industrial processes or from the use of combustion fuels in electricity generation and industryfrom entering the atmosphere. A typical CCS project consists of capturing, transporting, compressing and securely storing the CO2 underground in depleted oil and gas fields or deep saline aquifer formations.

The new ACR CCS methodology outlines the requirements for the creation of carbon offsets by CCS project developers that capture and store CO2 in oil and gas reservoirs including eligibility, ownership, regulatory compliance and rigorous monitoring, reporting, and verification during active project operation as well as post-project to ensure permanent CO2 storage. Eligible CO2 sources include power plants that burn coal, natural gas, or oil and industrial facilities such as petroleum refineries, oil and gas production facilities, iron and steel mills, cement plants, fertilizer plants, ethanol distilleries and chemical plants. The methodology draws on the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions’ Greenhouse Gas Accounting Framework for Carbon Capture and Storage Projects.

According to the U.S. EPA’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, the electricity and industrial sectors combined account for 52% of all GHG emissions in the U.S.  CCS technologies possess great potential to permanently store CO2 emissions from these sectors, and this methodology aims to provide a first of its kind incentive designed to spur increased investment in CCS projects.

Today’s announcement marks a critical step in the ongoing quest to enable and facilitate viable, meaningful, measurable and sustainable reductions in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions through geologic sequestration,” said Bill Townsend, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Strategies.  “The methodology will help enable both market and regulatory incentives which, in turn, will incentivize both quantification and monetization of material volumes of greenhouse gas reductions. We are grateful for ACR’s leadership on this issue.” 

The new methodology also has the potential to inform California regulators at the Air Resources Board (ARB), who have recently embarked on the development of a CCS GHG emissions reductions quantification methodology. Once approved by the Board, the ARB quantification methodology is intended to be used for accounting for potential reductions in compliance obligations for regulated entities in the Cap-and-Trade Program and is also being proposed under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard for reductions in the carbon intensity of fuels produced in processes that employ CCS technologies.

American Carbon Registry is extremely pleased to announce the approval of this innovative and rigorous offset methodology, which unlocks the potential to drive carbon finance for large-scale emissions reductions from CCS projects,” said John Kadyszewski, American Carbon Registry Director. “We look forward to working with companies as they develop CCS offset projects as well as to expanding the applicability of the methodology to new geographies and for new regulatory contexts.”

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