“It Takes Lots of Permits to Save the Planet”… WORD!

Guest “Mr. Loyola nailed it!” by David Middleton

It Takes Lots of Permits to Save the Planet
Every new energy project has to go through a convoluted and unpredictable federal approval process.

Mario Loyola • 04/04/2021

President Biden’s infrastructure plan proposes to spend trillions of dollars toward achieving zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. It won’t reach that goal, for two reasons. First, Democrats refuse to accept that natural gas and nuclear power have to be part of any green-energy plan. Second and even more daunting, every new energy project has to go through the same federal approval process as any other infrastructure project—a process so convoluted, costly, time-consuming and unpredictable that it’s a wonder any infrastructure project gets built in America. Many don’t.

The system requires every agency with authority over a project to grant a separate permit after an independent environmental review. Project sponsors routinely spend hundreds of millions of dollars without knowing when or whether a decision will ever be made.

As lawmakers prepare to spend trillions, they should ponder that the government wouldn’t have to spend an additional cent on infrastructure if the permit-review system were rational. There is a vast supply of capital in the private economy for infrastructure projects, including the many renewable-energy projects that show a positive return on investment given subsidies that already exist.


Competitive Enterprise Institute

Setting aside the obviously sarcastic remark about saving the planet, Mr. Loyola nailed it. Many governments, including our own are relying on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) as key components of their “Net Zero” strategies, offering fairly lucrative incentives for CCS/CCUS. While there is a lot of industry interest in this, there are very few commercial CCS wells in operation. CCS requires a UIC Class VI permit and it generally takes two years or longer to secure approval of a Class VI permit. As of January 2020, there were only two operational Class VI wells in the U.S.

Class VI Geologic Sequestration Wells

Underground injection for the purpose of long-term geologic sequestration of CO2 is subject to SDWA UIC regulations for Class VI wells. Class VI requirements may also apply to CO2 injection for EOR using Class II wells when EPA or the delegated state determines that there is an increased risk to USDWs.47

Two Class VI wells, both in Illinois, are currently permitted in the United States. EPA issued these final permits in 2017 for two wells injecting CO2 into a saline aquifer at the ADM ethanol plant in Illinois. In 2015, EPA issued a final Class VI permit for the FutureGen project, but the permit expired after the project was cancelled without any CO2 injection taking place.48 No state has issued a permit for a Class VI well. EPA requires that state primacy for Class VI wells would be implemented under SDWA Section 1422.

Unique Class VI Requirements

When developing minimum federal requirements for Class VI wells, EPA generally built upon Class I hazardous waste requirements. The agency added new requirements to address the unique properties of CO2 and geologic sequestration in the Class VI rule. In the preamble to the Class VI rule, EPA noted that “tailored requirements, modeled on the existing UIC regulatory framework, are necessary to manage the unique nature of CO2 injection for geologic sequestration.”49 EPA bases the regulation of CO2 injection as a separate class of wells on several unique risk factors to USDWs:

* the large volumes of CO2 expected to be injected through wells;

* the relative buoyancy of CO2 in underground geologic formations;

* the mobility of CO2 within subsurface formations;

* the corrosive properties of CO2 in the presence of water that can effect well materials; and

* the potential presence of impurities in the injected CO2 stream.50


Congressional Research Service

It took the EPA two years to approve the FutureGen permit and three years for the ADM permits.

This ironic statement was also in the CRS report:

CO2 itself is not federally regulated as a toxic or hazardous substance. 

Congressional Research Service

CCUS wells for enhanced oil recovery only require Class II permits, which are more easily obtained. Yet CO2 injection wells for geologic sequestration require a permitting process just as onerous as Class I wells for hazardous waste disposal:

Table 1. UIC Well Classes

ClassEstimated Number of Permitted WellsPercentage of Total WellsType of Fluid Injected
Class I7810.11%Injection of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes into deep, isolated rock formations
Class II177,76324.22%Injection of fluids associated with oil and natural gas production (including injection of CO2 for enhanced recovery and produced water disposal)
Class III26,7143.64%Injection of fluids for solution mining (e.g., extracting uranium or salt)
Class IV1030.01%Injection of hazardous or radioactive wastes through shallow wells into or above formations that contain a USDW (these wells are banned unless authorized under a federal or state groundwater remediation project)
Class V528,30072.00%Any well used to inject non-hazardous fluids underground that does not fall under the other five classes, including storm water drainage wells, septic system leach fields, aquifer storage and recovery wells, and experimental wells; most Class V wells are used for injection of wastes into or above USDWs
Class VI2Less than .01%Injection of CO2 into geologic formations for long-term storage or geologic sequestration (both wells at one site)
Congressional Research Service

Currently, only two states, North Dakota and Wyoming, have Class VI primary enforcement authority (AKA primacy).


States with primacy can approve permits more quickly than the EPA…. So, maybe primacy can save the planet!

Speaking of saving the planet…

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April 9, 2021 6:08 pm

I would fault Trump for not reversing Carter era executive orders on just how Environmental Impact Statements are done. Most of the rules are bureaucratic orders, not law, and should have been eliminated.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 9, 2021 8:47 pm

Executive orders were never intended to be a substitute for congressional legislation. Ideally, they would be an emergency response to a situation that most are in agreement needs to be addressed, and quickly. Their greatest weakness is that if the EO is based on partisan thinking, then it can be reversed by a subsequent president on the other side of the aisle. EOs have the potential for becoming a politicized game of ping pong. They should be used sparingly, and wisely.

Last edited 1 year ago by Clyde Spencer
Rory Forbes
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 9, 2021 9:08 pm

They should be used sparingly, and wisely.

President O’Biden would disagree with whatever it was … with … while every— theoumistgrabble bubble …… “is it my turn yet?”

Gerry, England
Reply to  Rory Forbes
April 10, 2021 6:27 am

You must mean George Trump.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 10, 2021 10:27 am

Why not fault G.W. Bush?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 10, 2021 10:35 am

GW Bush bought into much of the green agenda, so he had no motive to change them.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 10, 2021 7:26 pm

Because he’s part of the D.C. swamp and his fault goes without saying.

Trump’s excuse is that the bureaucracy has grown to such a size that cutting it back is like trimming a sequoia with those scissors on cheap swiss army knives. His fault lies in not hiring the right people for the job but the right people for the job likely want nothing to do with D.C. or politics in general.

April 9, 2021 6:19 pm

Quit shoving the CO2 down into a hole in the ground. Get away from Sequestration and get back to Carbon Capture Utilization. Turn the CO2 into good paying full time jobs and money.
No permits required. No pipelines required. No steam from the power plant required. The Utilities will make 40% plus more profit. https://youtu.be/RQRQ7S92_lo

Reply to  Sid Abma
April 9, 2021 7:18 pm

Carbon capture? I thought CO2 creation is a better option … https://ddears.com/2021/04/06/co2-is-greening-planet-earth/

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Sid Abma
April 9, 2021 9:11 pm

Great parody of a brain dead “climate change” true believer. Only they could believe that CO2 is harmful to the planet.

April 9, 2021 6:46 pm

Do I have this right – the people who are going to save the planet are the same ones who can’t fix potholes in roads?

Reply to  philincalifornia
April 9, 2021 7:10 pm

Yeah, and they won’t rest until the World is paved in bike paths.

Yeah… that’ll Save The Planet.

Reply to  H.R.
April 9, 2021 7:39 pm

And they don’t keep the paved bike paths cleared of sand and gravel either.

Reply to  Scissor
April 9, 2021 9:40 pm

No, but by golly! You’ll have a bike path from your front door to the street, your front door to your neighbor’s front door, and from your back door to the neighbor’s back door.

…and they’ll have pot holes that won’t get fixed.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Scissor
April 10, 2021 2:35 am

I think in LA they put bike paths in to move the homeless encampments off the street and away from homes and businesses! That should really help with the exercise and fresh air that everybody needs to fight the Fauxi virus!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  philincalifornia
April 9, 2021 7:28 pm

The same ones who say that ChildCare services are infrastructure.
Democrats — morons — all of them.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 9, 2021 7:41 pm

There’s something called the pedo-pipeline.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 9, 2021 8:51 pm

While they may be stupid, I think it is more a matter of them being disingenuous and routinely trying to get away with things that are inappropriate.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 10, 2021 7:47 am

Stupid, disingenuous and dangerous to humanity.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 10, 2021 1:00 pm

With Biden it is both.

Once he decides on something, or does something, it is the right thing … no matter what.

This mentality has rubbed off on his son (observed or genetic … a good opportunity for a live study).

Thinking that you are always right & can will never get into trouble over what you do leads to decisions that others would consider stupid.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 10, 2021 7:33 pm

And the solution to pay for crucially needed road and bridge repair is to massively subsidize EVs which pay $0.00 taxes for said road and bridge repair. I call Biden’s plan the anti-infrastructure bill. I’d have more faith in president Camacho than these people, whom I don’t believe are idiots, but something much worse.

Reply to  philincalifornia
April 9, 2021 8:10 pm

Forget the potholes in the road … name anything that they did fix or at least not make worse?

They should be called the Jordian Peoples front after the Monty Python skit and “what have the romans ever done for us”.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  LdB
April 9, 2021 9:14 pm

These are the same people who will try to “explain” socialism in favorable terms and that it simply hasn’t had a fair trial. They’ll also tell you how to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  LdB
April 10, 2021 7:38 pm

Well there was Jim Cr…Federal Reser…Income Ta….Social Secur..pay roll ta.. The Great Soci… public educa… err well they didn’t make China worse

April 9, 2021 7:36 pm

Love the George Carlin video. He would have been a much better voice for reason than Greta.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  John Shewchuk
April 10, 2021 6:24 am

Watching that clip again, I was wondering how Carlin would have dealt with WuFlu….

April 9, 2021 8:35 pm

“…a positive return on investment given subsidies that already exist….” Now there’s a weasel statement!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  markl
April 9, 2021 9:00 pm

Yes, that screamed at me too

So without subsidies none are economic.

Over to you Griff, can always count on you to oppose those that actually know stuff.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
April 10, 2021 7:06 am


Here in the UK environmental campaigners are up in arms about England’s planned £27 billion roadbuiding programme saying it vastly underestimates the amount of C02 it will produce and is incompatible with “climate crisis commitments.”

Chris Todd, Director of Lawyers for Transport Action (TAN) said “Even when all cars are electric, building even bigger roads and ever more cars means adding carbon emissions from construction, manufacturing and maintenance, extra emissions that the planet can’t afford” (Guardian 7th April 2021)

Funny how these campaigners never mention such emissions when they are supporting the building of even more unreliable windfarms and solar plants.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Dave Andrews
April 10, 2021 7:52 am

Dang. “subsidised unreliable windfarms and solar plants”

Reply to  Dave Andrews
April 10, 2021 7:54 am

Chris Todd, Director of Lawyers for Transport Action (TAN) said “You idiots can pay with a check or wire transfer and I’ll do your virtue-signaling for you …. “

Reply to  markl
April 10, 2021 1:05 pm

I’ve been sneaking into my neighbors house and taking about $40 a week out of his safe (he is too lazy to keep it locked).

We’re still friends … I buy him lunch once a month and ask nothing in return; I don’t ever allow him to pay.

I figure he gets a positive return on our friendship ‘given the relationship parameters that already exist’.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  markl
April 10, 2021 7:41 pm

When I read Wealth of Nations, that is when I knew we are doomed. You can check every box on how to lead a nation to economic ruin.

Gary Pearse
April 9, 2021 9:01 pm

David, remember that the Dem admins, like the Pope, can grant indulgences, for example for a windmill farm to kill eagles, condors, bats… with impunity.

pHil R
April 9, 2021 9:34 pm

President Biden’s infrastructure plan proposes to spend trillions of dollars toward achieving zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.

Coulda stopped right there.

Last edited 1 year ago by pHil R
Robert W Turner
Reply to  pHil R
April 10, 2021 7:42 pm

Technically negative is not zero.

April 9, 2021 9:38 pm

The US private sector spends (primarily wastes) $2 TRILLION/year in federal regulation compliance costs, which is equivalent to the entire GDP of Italy, which has the 8th largest economy in the world..

Most of these compliance costs are incurred by EPA regulations, which is completely insane.

Nobody wants a polluted environment , but most EPA regulations are absurd offering little benefit compared to the massive compliance costs.

The EPA is an unconstitutional federal agency which should never had been created. Prior to the federal EPA, each state had their own EPA that set their own regulations based on the economic and environmental priorities of the state.

The irony is that had the private sector not wasted $10’s of trillions on federal EPA compliance costs, that money could have been used to develop new technologies that would have generated even better environmental outcomes, and our standard of living, GDP, quality of life, technological advancement, etc,, would all have been much greater than they are..

Actions have consequences.

Abolition Man
Reply to  SAMURAI
April 10, 2021 2:41 am

There you go, trying to put kind, benevolent government bureaucrats out of work again!
How dare you!

Reply to  Abolition Man
April 10, 2021 6:18 am


Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one~ Thomas Paine

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  SAMURAI
April 10, 2021 4:04 am

then there’s comparable costs with state regs

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 10, 2021 5:49 am


The genius of the Constitution was the separation of powers between federal and state governments.

Under Article I, Section 8, the federal government was only grated limited authority and powers to conduct 17 specific tasks, and all other powers and responsibilities were to be conducted by either The People or the various states.

All state spending was to be borne by the individual states and varied substantially by state depending on the priorities of The People of the various states.

It’s interesting that until 1910, total state and federal spending only amounted to about 7% of GDP, and were split 50/50; 3.5% federal and 3.5% state.

April 9, 2021 9:56 pm

Total Precipitable Water (TPW) has been increasing faster than possible from temperature increase. TPW has been measured by NASA/RSS using satellite instrumentation and reported monthly at http://data.remss.com/vapor/monthly_1deg/tpw_v07r01_198801_202101.time_series.txt The last report was for Jan 2021. This data has demonstrated that all of the human contribution to planet warming is explained by WV increase and CO2 has nothing to do with it.
Does anyone know the reason for the data holdup?

TPW meas & calc H4 &RH thru Jan 2021.jpg
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
April 10, 2021 3:10 am

“This data has demonstrated that all of the human contribution to planet warming is explained by WV increase”. Not sure what you mean by that. The WV is emitted by a warmer ocean, not by humans. It may be a greenhouse gas adding to the warmth, but there are two offsetting factors which combined may well be larger: 1. The latent heat needed to evaporate the WV in the first place and which is released mostly to space when the WV condenses into clouds. 2. The extra clouds that the extra WV creates also cool the planet.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 10, 2021 11:44 am

“The WV is emitted by a warmer ocean…” Mostly yes but not all. Look at the graph again. See the two equations for trend lines. The one in the black box is for the measured Total Precipitable Water (TPW) and the one in the red box is for the TPW calculated from the temperature increase of the liquid water. The ratio, 0.043/0.030 = 1.43. That demonstrates that WV has been increasing about 43% faster than it would from temperature increase alone. Most (perhaps all) of the GCMs calculate the WV assuming constant relative humidity. Three other lines on the graph are for different assumed RH. These corroborate that WV is increasing faster than assumed in the GCMs. (CO2 has no effect on climate and needs to be zeroed out in the GCMs)

Look at the difference between the start points and end points of the trend lines. They both start at about 28.24 kg/m^2. The end of the calculated trend is 29.25 and the end for the measured trend is 29.65. The differences show that about 72% of the measured WV increase is from temperature increase and 28% is from ‘something else’. If you look at the analysis that you can get to by clicking my name you will discover that the ‘something else’ turned out to be mostly (about 90%) from increasing irrigation.

Including measured TPW and two other factors in an algorithm to calculate average global temperature results in 96+% match (R^2 = 0.9647) with measured (HadCRUT4) temperatures since before 1900. CO2 is NOT one of the factors. That is what justifies the assertion that you challenged.

The extra clouds make the temperature increase self-limiting. It is the huge amount of water, in its three states that have made the temperatures on earth steady enough and in a narrow enough range for life as we know it to have evolved.

Aintsm 1850 2020.jpg
Robert W Turner
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
April 10, 2021 7:45 pm

Increased geothermal heat from increased volcanism or hydrothermal circulation, or perhaps an increase in global wind power index?

Joseph Zorzin
April 10, 2021 4:00 am

I saw Carlin twice in the years before he passed at a mere 70 years of age. His performance blew me away. He was in a league of his own.

April 10, 2021 6:37 am

Yes, permitting is a byzantine system almost everywhere in the CONUS. In the extreme, a California project might have 26 participating government entities, each with veto power. The unfortunate solution there was to buy off the environmental activists that were blockading action. Yes, the whole system needs a page 1 rewrite.

But this is just one more unwitting admission that CCS should compete with source reduction for carbon tax $. This (mostly hydrocarbon extraction) lobbyist sponsored mix of voodoo eco tax corporate welfare tax incentives and other upfront give aways, results in the wasteful, bipartisan, winner picking that we see now.

Calculate a carbon tax that will increase national NPV by reducing net carbon (i.e. CO2, Cliffie Claviners) such that the AGW losses are reduced by quite a bit more than the relatively tiny economic losses from higher hydrocarbon prices. Improve our infrastructure to help those in lower income brackets bridge over (It is no accident that the lowest economic quintile in hydrocarbon expensive Western Europe fares both relatively and absolutely better than ours). Rebate that tax regularly, equitably, totally, to every American, after paying off the CCS’ers who have risked their own CAPEX and OPEX, with no front $ from the rest of us*. Mr. Middleton thinks that there is no level of source reduction that actually pays off. I think that there is, even given his recent post on this subject. But whether carbon emissions reduction is a good idea or not, CCS corporate welfare is a bad idea.

Worried about tobacco tax type honey potting? Line forms behind me. Especially given the bipartisan CCS give aways documented by Mr. Middleton here. It requires a new citizen mnd set to fight this strong, bipartisan inclination in the COTUS AND the executive, to give away redux with carbon taxing.

*Feel free to open up on renewable subsidies. But given the fact that they are orders of magnitude lower than those awarded to hydrocarbon extraction, past and present, I’d ponder first…

Last edited 1 year ago by bigoilbob
Abolition Man
Reply to  bigoilbob
April 10, 2021 9:47 am

“…a new citizen mind set…”
I thought your diatribes had a familiar ring to them! Do you favor more Hitler’s Ubermensch, Stalin’s Worker Hero or Mao’s Red Guard?
I’ll keep it simple so you can try to wrap your head around it! Why should we be worried about CCS, when so far all we have seen from increased CO2 is a greening of the planet and a slight warming that is much lower than previous warm periods in the last 10,000 years and may have NO connection to elevated CO2 levels whatsoever!?
Why do you oppose tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry that has been largely responsible for the high standard of living First World countries enjoy and has raised millions OUT of poverty in the Third World?
You claim that subsidies for unreliable “renewables” are orders of magnitude lower, yet you make no mention of the cost of the grid and infrastructure already in place and storage and backup systems that haven’t even been developed yet, much less properly priced!
Everywhere that these unreliable, intermittent and low density energy systems have been allowed to capture a large percentage of the electrical generation, prices have risen dramatically and and grid stability has decreased!
You sound like some kind of Fascist, with the usual hatred and racism inherent in totalitarian systems! Why do you hate poor people, especially those living in the Third World, so much!

Last edited 1 year ago by abolition man
Reply to  Abolition Man
April 10, 2021 11:46 am

Why should we be worried about CCS, when so far all we have seen from increased CO2 is a greening of the planet and a slight warming that is much lower than previous warm periods in the last 10,000 years and may have NO connection to elevated CO2 levels whatsoever!?”

Tell it to the author of this post, who is desperately trying to pimp these tax breaks/corporate give aways. You and I + most of the rest of the world, are 180 out on the harm from AGW. My point is that, either way, corporate welfare for CCS is FOS.

“Why do you oppose tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry that has been largely responsible for the high standard of living First World countries enjoy and has raised millions OUT of poverty in the Third World?”

Because if it’s worth doin’, then it’s worth payin’ for. Directly. The hypocrisy of Ayn Randing except for corporate welfare that mostly trickles up, is essentially boundless.

“You claim that subsidies for unreliable “renewables” are orders of magnitude lower, yet you make no mention of the cost of the grid and infrastructure already in place and storage and backup systems that haven’t even been developed yet, much less properly priced!”

We need the electricity no matter what. The delta from accommodating renewables in the mix is (1) small, (2) already priced in. The latest example is the worming away from wind whining by Texans, post 2/21 weather disaster.

Why do you hate poor people, especially those living in the Third World, so much!”

Please expand on how I express this Bigfoot “hate”. In the CONUS, per my carbon tax plan, any rebate recipient that had a het carbon footprint less than average would benefit. i sadi NOTHING about the international situation, except to sympathize with those internationally – who have suffered for the production of conflict hydrocarbons. As an international petroleum engineer, I have seen too much of this, and have certainly enabled it with my efforts.id

Reply to  bigoilbob
April 10, 2021 2:10 pm

“The delta from accommodating renewables in the mix is (1) small, (2) already priced in.”


comment image

Reply to  bigoilbob
April 10, 2021 2:19 pm

“You and I + most of the rest of the world, are 180 out on the harm from AGW”

OMG you do talk some TOTAL GARBAGE !!

And yes,the the subsidies for fossil fuels are WAY LESS than for “unreliables’

Fossil Fuels GIVE to society.. They BUILT SOCIETY

They exist is every part of society

Wind and Solar only TAKE..
(which is why ultra-left fascists like you love them so much)

“As an international petroleum engineer”

You are full of yourself, a mediocre hack at best.. as your constant displays of IGNORANCE shows..

HATING the one thing that has provided for your livelihood and that supports the whole of modern civilization.

That is what you HATE, with a vengeance.. modern civilised society. !

Reply to  bigoilbob
April 10, 2021 2:23 pm

And why the heck would anyone with any scientific knowledge EVER want to lower CO2 emissions

Raised CO2 levels are DESPERATELY NEEDED by the biosphere.

They are nothing but TOTALLY BENEFICIAL to the whole planet

There is NO EVIDENCE that they cause anything else except enhanced plant growth

The whole AGW FARCE is based on lies and ignorance..

…. so it is only fitting that a big slimy blob like you would support it. !

Abolition Man
Reply to  fred250
April 10, 2021 8:16 pm

Thank you, fred250!
I was busy with my monthly trip to the big city today, and was considering my reply to bigoilybob. You appear to have made every point that I wanted to make except for reiterating how racist the Green agenda is for forcing expensive and unreliable energy sources down the throats of Third World nations striving get a few steps up the ladder to prosperity! He probably doesn’t think he’s racist which seems to be a major tell!
I got a nice, new tactical 12ga., some ammo and some great smoked brisket; so it was a very productive day! Stay safe, cheers!

April 10, 2021 4:25 pm

The Greenies could just do what Gov. Brown did in CA. He waived AQMD and other CA regulations when his agenda was threatened. Nothing to stop the Demo/Progs from doing the same thing.

April 11, 2021 4:20 am

?Why do watermelons want to store CO2 in deep wells given their claim doing so why other wastes CAUSES EARTHQUAKES?

Gaia should quake with fear when she hears watermelons claim they intend to help her.

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