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'Create opportunities' : Southeast Texas leaders get their carbon capture concerns, questions answered

Experts say the Southeast Texas region has the potential to store "a billion tons" of carbon dioxide.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Southeast Texas leaders got a better grasp on carbon capture during a Monday meeting. 

Experts say this area has the potential to store "a billion tons" of carbon dioxide.

Scott Castleman with the Houston Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) Alliance organized the event.

Southeast Texas leaders say they feel better equipped to take what they learned from the meeting back to residents, who may have questions of their own.

"We have a fear of the unknown and the best way to over come that fear is to try to understand exactly what the process is all about," said Beaumont Ward 3 Councilman Audwin Samuel.

Samuel says he learned a lot on Monday. 

"They are continuing to find ways to safely remove CO2 from the atmosphere and that's good and I learned how they're capturing CO2, how they're transporting it and how they're storing it," Samuel said. 

Castleman says it'll take collaboration to get these projects going.

"These companies are working together to capture advance carbon capture and storage to create opportunities to continue producing the product that we're so well known for," Castleman said. 

RELATED: 'Good for the environment, good for the economy' : Bayou Bend carbon capture project could 'future proof' Southeast Texas industry

Carbon capture has three components.

Equipment captures pollution from petrochemical plants, then the concentrated CO2 will be pressurized and put in a pipeline  before it's injected thousands of feet under ground for storage.

Before the meeting, Port Neches Fire Chief Eloy Vega had concerns, but walked away feeling better.

"The potential for the gas to leak into the the groundwater is very unlikely as well being that the repository gas are going to be miles apart from any underground viable water sources," Vega said.

Chevron has already identified 140,000 acres on and off shore for storage.

Castleman says they will continue having meetings in Southeast Texas to make sure everyone is informed about carbon capture.

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