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Gordon supports SCALE Act

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Gov. Mark Gordon has joined a bipartisan group of governors in writing a letter of support to Congress on the Storing CO2 and Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act. This piece of legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). 

The SCALE Act 

 The bill will support the building of infrastructure necessary to transport CO2 from places it is captured to places it can be utilized, specifically manufacturing or safely and securely sequestered underground. 

The letter is co-signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK), Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) and Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA). The governors urge strong support for the legislation, which according to their letter “aims to develop an interconnected CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure to help the U.S. reach net-zero carbon emissions and meet mid-century climate goals.” 

“We urge Congress to prioritize the inclusion of this critical legislation in a broader infrastructure package, given its essential role in helping to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide,” the letter reads. “As a group of collective states with shared interests, we stand ready to work with you to implement policies that scale up the regional and national CO2 transport infrastructure to achieve net-zero emissions goals.” 

This would be modeled after other successful infrastructure funding mechanisms.  

“The SCALE Act could provide low interest loans and grants to leverage existing private capital, to finance the regional and national building cost-effective, shared CO2 transport infrastructure networks and large-scale saline geologic storage hubs,” the letter continues. 

This could enable the up-scale of carbon capture and the removal from the nation’s industrial facilities, such as power plants and future large-scale direct air capture facilities.  

Additionally, the legislation would provide cost shares to support the development of these large-scale commercial saline storage sites, as well as increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support federal and state permitting of saline geologic storage projects. 

Gordon’s stand 

“Wyoming has always been a leader in carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS),” Gordon said. “We are committed to making Wyoming the next state to have a CCUS facility.”  

He adds, “I recently set the goal for Wyoming to not only be carbon neutral, but actually carbon negative while continuing to use fossil fuels.” 

Carbon capture has been around for decades, but as more facilities are built, CCUS will improve and costs will also decline.  

“Rep. Cheney has once again demonstrated her leadership and dedication to Wyoming’s future with the introduction of the SCALE Act,” Gordon shared. “I urge Congress to act upon the bill.” 

Carbon capture and storage 

According to energy supplier National Grid, CCUS has the ability to reduce carbon emissions, and the process involves capturing carbon dioxide produced by industrial activity or power generation, transporting it and then storing the carbon dioxide in saline aquifers or depleted oil and gas reservoirs deep underground.  

National Grid also notes carbon dioxide can be used in the production of plastics, concrete or biofuel. Utilizing carbon dioxide will decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in storage which could be beneficial for the environment.  

Additionally, and of value to producers, rangelands cover 48 percent of land area in the U.S., and hold more than one-third of the world’s carbon reserves.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service High Plains Grassland Research Station researchers explain rangelands play a significant role in carbon sequestration.  

“Due to the large area of coverage, rangelands have potential to sequester significant amounts of additional carbon out of the atmosphere,” shares Research Leader and Rangeland Scientist Justin Derner. “Grazing lands are estimated to contain from 10 to 30 percent of the world’s soil carbon.” 

He continues, “Specific management practices, such as grazing, nitrogen inputs and improved plant species, have shown an increase in carbon storage throughout rangelands.” 

Throughout research, it was found grazing can increase the amount of carbon stored in rangeland soil, helping Gordon’s goal for the state to be carbon negative.  

Madi Slaymaker is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to 

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