Illinois Democrats square off over carbon capture

By Jeffrey Tomich | 04/18/2024 06:35 AM EDT

Proposed legislation aims to fill gaps in existing regulations, but business and environmental groups see different futures.

A photo collage illustration with ethanol and CO2 pipelines.

Claudine Hellmuth/POLITICO (illustration); Illinois General Assembly (documents); PxFuel (pipes); Joe Raedle/Getty Images (ethanol pipeline)

Two Democratic-led coalitions in Illinois are pushing competing ideas for how carbon capture and storage should evolve and aid the state’s efforts to combat climate change.

One group is led by state Rep. Ann Williams, head of the House Energy and Environment Committee, and is aligned with Illinois environmental groups.

Another coalition has the backing of business, labor and agriculture groups and stresses the economic benefits available to the state, which has significant geologic potential for storing carbon dioxide deep underground.


Yet to be determined is how — or if — the two Democratic-led factions in Illinois can negotiate a compromise and how that will shape development of the nascent industry that’s key to the Biden administration’s strategy to achieve net-zero U.S. carbon emissions by 2050.