At the Western Governors’ Association meeting earlier this month, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Saskatchewan province signed a 3-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The four governments are interested in collaborating on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) knowledge, capacity building, policy and regulatory expertise and enhanced oil recovery.
CCUS is a process that captures carbon dioxide emissions from various sources such as coal-fired power plants and either reuses or stores it so it will not enter the atmosphere. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum stated, “By harnessing our collective expertise and technology, we can show it’s possible to grow energy production and the economy while reducing emissions through increased innovation rather than expanded regulation. In a carbon-constrained world, improved CCUS technologies will enable our lignite industry to provide reliable baseload generation for decades to come, while also potentially helping us recover billions of barrels of oil through enhanced recovery methods – turning carbon dioxide from an unpopular byproduct into a valuable product.”
Wyoming is the home of the School of Energy Resources, the Integrated Test Center and the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, all working on groundbreaking research as well as a project to develop statewide pipeline corridors to further CCUS efforts. “We look forward to continuing the work to enhance Wyoming’s efforts, as well as the efforts of our partners,” said Jason Begger, Executive Director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, who will be representing Wyoming in the agreement.
Research into carbon capture to confront climate change and take full advantage of existing resources is a high priority, according to Montana Governor Steve Bullock. "The bottom line for me is we should be in control of our energy futures, and that includes the important work accomplished through this MOU." The initiative also highlights the value of strategic collaboration of regions on areas of shared interest.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall confirmed the value of the MOU. “As a world leader in the advancement of CCUS technology, Saskatchewan has much to contribute. SaskPower’s ground-breaking Boundary Dam 3 project is the world’s first commercial power plant with a fully-integrated post-combustion carbon capture system, and an excellent example of what is possible if we embrace CCUS.”
CCUS is a crucial technology to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that CCUS could deliver 13% of the cumulative emissions reductions required by 2050. The partners in this MOU see the information exchange leading to wider deployment of CCUS globally.