Jackson Walker Client Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) Secures Funding to Accelerate Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Through Texas-Based Commercialization Center

September 25, 2020 | Client Results

The Office of Fossil Energy and Jackson Walker client Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) have announced the award of funds to the University of Houston’s Center for Carbon Management in Energy to accelerate clean coal and carbon management technologies, with emphasis on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) from coal and gas-fired power plants in conjunction with the utilization of the captured carbon dioxide in Texas enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects.

In conjunction with other ongoing funding, SSEB was granted $2.5 million in DOE funding and $650,000 in funding from industry partners, which is currently being distributed to a network of R&D programs, including the UH Center.

SSEB is a nonprofit interstate compact organization focused on innovative energy and environmental policies, programs, and technologies, to lead a direct air carbon capture recovery partnership. Jackson Walker Austin partner Michael J. Nasi serves as Special Counsel for SSEB and is heavily involved in the Board’s CCUS-related activities, along with his many other CCUS affiliations across the country.

This latest announcement continues an impressive level of research, development, and commercialization funding that has been facilitated in the State of Texas by SSEB. Over the past decade-and-a-half, SSEB has leveraged both public and private funding in excess of $70 million for the State of Texas, including funding of the:

  • Texas State Energy Conservation Office;
  • Texas Department of State Health Services;
  • Division of Emergency Management/Public Safety;
  • International Workshop on Offshore Geologic CO2 Storage, Austin and Beaumont;
  • National Nuclear Transportation Safety Ad Hoc Working Group Meeting on Rail Transport for nuclear fuel, Fort Worth;
  • Annual December “CO2 Conference Week,” Midland;
  • Aker Solutions of Houston, Texas, for infrastructure, operations, and permitting of offshore operations; and
  • A 17-year funding and working relationship with University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology (UT-BEG) and Advanced Resources International, Inc. (ARI-Houston) on carbon management projects such as:
    • Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnership (SECARB) Phases 1, 2 , 3 projects, including the “Offshore CO2 Storage Resource Assessment,” the “Carbon SAFE” Program, and a log list of other R&D projects relating to CCUS.

In addition to the direct funding noted above, SSEB’s investment in other state research projects continues to deliver significant benefits to Texas – most notably, the funding of an amine carbon capture pilot project in Plant Barry, Alabama, that led to the full-scale deployment of the technology at Jackson Walker client NRG’s “Petra Nova” project Southwest of Houston, which is the largest CCUS-EOR project in the world.

In addition to Mike Nasi’s involvement as Special Counsel to SSEB and a long list of CCUS-related activities and accomplishments, Jackson Walker partners Linda Eggert Donohoe and Brian Dethrow have been active in CCUS project development. For more information about the Firm’s representation of energy clients in developing and deploying incentives and projects for the capture, transportation, utilization, and storage of carbon dioxide, visit our Energy and Climate Change & Green Initiatives practice area pages.

To explore the DOE’s commitment to investing in carbon capture technologies, view its September 1, 2020, release regarding two funding opportunity announcements and the 2020-2024 strategic vision for the Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management.

Webinar on CCUS Incentives
Friday, September 25 at 12 p.m. CDT | Register here »

Join Mike Nasi and Shannon Angielski, Executive Director of the Carbon Utilization Research Council, for a presentation on “Financial Incentives and Investment Efforts” as part of the Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage (CCUS) Workshop Series presented by National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB). During the webinar, Mike and Shannon will cover federal and state policies, tax incentives, and investment efforts currently in place to govern and promote CCUS activities and deployment.

Michael NasiMeet Mike

Michael J. Nasi serves as founder and Chair of Jackson Walker’s Climate Change and Carbon Management group and is also active in the Firm’s Environmental and Energy practice areas. His compliance counseling, permitting, and enforcement defense work spans a wide range of federal and state energy and environmental regulatory programs. Mike is counsel for parties in ongoing regulatory proceedings relating to carbon dioxide, interstate air quality, regional haze, and coal combustion residuals, including appeals pending before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. He also practices before the EPA, TCEQ, the Texas Railroad Commission, and the Texas Legislature.

For the past four years, Mike has served as SSEB’s Special Counsel for the State of Texas, advising SSEB in directing nearly $40 million in grants to Texas researchers, which has been matched by another $40 million from private sources. In addition, Mike serves as the Director of Life:Powered, as Special Counsel to Wyoming’s Energy Policy Network (EPN), as an advisory board member for North Dakota’s Environmental Research Center (EERC), and as a visiting instructor at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin and Rice University in Houston.

In recognition of his practice, Mike has been named among Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (since 2003) and The Best Lawyers in America (since 2006), which recently named him Austin’s 2021 Lawyer of the Year in the area of Environmental Law. In 2015, he was awarded the National Law Journal’s Energy and Environmental Trailblazer Award for his leadership on innovative energy project development.

Outside of his practice, Mike is active in his church and community, including as the immediate past Chairman of the Central Texas Salvation Army Advisory Board and as a board member for other local nonprofit organizations, including the West Austin Youth Association (WAYA).