The new rules aim to protect drinking water and to track the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered from facilities that carry out geologic sequestration. Together, these actions are consistent with the recommendations made by President Obama’s interagency task force on this topic and help create a consistent national framework to ensure the safe and effective deployment of technologies that will help position the United States as a leader in the global clean energy race.

“Today the Obama administration reaffirmed its commitment to leading the way in the clean energy future. We’re taking a major step toward path breaking innovations that will reduce greenhouse gases and put America in the forefront of the clean energy economy,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “By providing clarity about greenhouse gas reporting and the necessary protections for drinking water sources during carbon sequestration, we’ve cleared the way for people to use this promising technology.”

In August 2010, President Obama’s Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage, co-chaired by the EPA, delivered a series of recommendations to the president on overcoming the barriers to the widespread, cost-effective deployment of CCS within 10 years. The task force concluded the rules being announced were an important part of the strategy to promote development of this technology. CCS can play an important role in domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions while preserving the option of using coal and other abundant domestic fossil energy resources.