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Articles by Audrey Carleton, Capital and Main

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Amid a divided state Legislature, Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans are finding rare common ground in a bill designed to usher in a new industry for capturing climate-altering carbon dioxide and burying it underground.

Among other provisions, Senate Bill 831 would create an enforcement structure for carbon capture within the state, set a low bar for gaining consent from landowners near sites where carbon is injected into the ground and, in some cases, spare the fossil fuel industry from seismic monitoring — that is, watching for earthquakes, a known risk.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Gene Yaw, a Republican representing north central Pennsylvania who has personal ties to the fossil fuel industry, cleared the Republican-controlled Senate on a 30-20 vote in April. It now moves to the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats.

But a coalition of environmental groups said the bill is riddled with problems. Landowners could be left in the dark when the collected carbon is pumped int... Read more