Congress enlisted oil companies to help develop an underground carbon storage system to aid in the fight against climate change.
Oil producers for decades had pumped carbon dioxide underground to increase output, steadily filling depleting oil reservoirs with the climate-warming gas.
To get oil companies to pump more of the greenhouse gas underground, legislation was passed that doubled tax incentives for oil companies using carbon captured from the smokestacks of power plants and other industrial sites.
But since the carbon storage program first began in 2008, oil companies have taken the tax credit without providing evidence that the carbon dioxide is staying underground and not leaking into the atmosphere, as required under the law.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general recently reported that of the $1 billion in carbon capture tax credits claimed between 2010 and 2019, almost $900 million — 90 percent — went to oil companies that never offered any proof they are storing the amount of carbon dioxide claimed on tax forms.
Article submitted by, sheltomlee.