Both Republicans and Democrats in deep-red Louisiana have warmed up to the idea of carbon removal, a practice that involves capturing carbon dioxide from large industrial operations and storing it a mile underground. Federal tax incentives promise to make the burgeoning industry profitable at a time when businesses are looking to slash their carbon emissions. There’s one big hangup: The Environmental Protection Agency has been slow to issue permits for underground wells where the captured carbon is supposed to be stored.

So when the agency announced in the waning days of 2023 that it’s handing over permitting duties, known as “primacy,” to Louisiana regulators, elected officials and industry executives celebrated.

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