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Chevron launches new carbon capture and storage in the San Joaquin Valley

Oil Well (FILE)
Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 01:29:43-04

(KERO) — A new project is coming to the San Joaquin Valley with the hope of improving the environment for years to come. Chevron is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint through its new energies division announcing it will be launching a carbon capture and storage project.

Vice President of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) for Chevron New Energies Chris Powers says this may seem complicated at first but when broken down it's simple.

“If you look at any of the independent study groups that talk about how we’re going to manage climate change all of them are in agreement that carbon capture and storage is a critical part of the solution.”

“By capturing the CO2 and storing it deep underground we’re able to mitigate some of the challenges of the CO2 concentration in the air which will hopefully help to evade some of the challenges with climate change. Installing equipment that captures the exhaust that comes off a variety of existing industrial equipment.”

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions and either using them to make things such as building materials (utilization) or permanently storing them thousands of feet below the surface (storage).

Capturing carbon dioxide from industrial operations before it has a chance to enter the atmosphere helps reduce emissions, as does removing it directly from the air. The carbon dioxide is then reused or sent through an injection well deep underground where it is locked away safely and permanently.

It’s a straightforward concept that takes infrastructure and policy considerations to implement, and Chevron is committed to making it work.

Powers says their hope is to remove 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide yearly which is the equivalent of removing 47,000 cars from the road.

Molly Laegler, the vice president of San Joaquin Operations at Chevron, says this makes Kern County the perfect breeding ground for innovation.

“Here in Kern County, we can play a really big role. There’s a couple of reasons. We have the geologic CO2 storage sites and what we also have is a very large workforce.”

Laegler says when multi-year projects like this one come around they also bring jobs.

“You’re gonna need the engineering and everything behind the technology of how we make that work and then you’ll need the operations. We’ll have wells just like we do for oil and gas so those will need to be drilled.”

Laegler says that means engineers, IT specialists and geoscientists will all play a role. But these jobs are still a few years away and there are some ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint now.

“So you can even think about what if I carpool with that neighbor down the road? What if I look at what I do today to reduce my impact?”

Some additional tips:

  • Eat more plant foods and fewer animal foods
  • Try other modes of transport
  • Switch to a low-carbon energy provider
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle to waste less
  • Rethink your fashion choices - avoid fast fashion
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances

Laegler says that these are baby steps but with all of us working together we can have a huge impact on the environment.