Bill to extend California’s CCS pipeline moratorium won’t move forward this year

By Blanca Begert | 04/04/2024 06:19 AM EDT

The bill would have kept the state’s moratorium on pipelines for carbon capture and sequestration in place until both the state and federal governments finish safety rules.

Active pump jacks increase pressure to draw oil toward the surface at the South Belridge Oil Field.

California Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula’s (D) bill to extend the state’s carbon dioxide pipeline moratorium didn’t have the community backing it needed to overcome industry opposition. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, California — Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula pulled his bill to add more safety regulations for carbon dioxide pipelines ahead of a Wednesday hearing after it encountered industry and labor pushback and failed to get support from Central Valley environmental justice groups.

“Community groups have asked me to hold off for now,” he said in a statement. “For this reason, I am not planning to move the bill forward this year.”

Why it matters: California’s climate plan relies on technology like carbon capture and storage to meet its emissions reduction targets, but groups living near proposed project sites have concerns over the potential for pipelines to leak and rupture, which can in some cases be lethal.


Arambula, a Fresno Democrat, had been trying to address Central Valley residents’ concerns over pipeline safety in his AB 2623, but industry argued that requiring project developers to wait for a new layer of regulations circumvented the process the legislature had already established and would delay projects.