Aera’s Carbon Manager Jonathan Dethloff talks carbon capture and storage, and Aera’s approach to a lower-carbon future
Aera Energy is embarking on an exciting new journey to help California meet its bold climate goals and I am honored to be a part of an energy transformation that will fundamentally change the way we think about energy.
With an all-of-the above approach, Aera is undertaking a exciting new strategy to continue meeting California’s conventional energy demands by investing in a lower carbon portfolio that will include renewables to help power existing operations. Additionally, we’re developing technologies such as carbon capture and storage, also known as CCS, and photovoltaic – or solar projects – to help reduce our own carbon footprint. CCS removes CO2 from existing emission sources, reducing the emissions that would otherwise go into the atmosphere.
CCS involves injecting carbon dioxide, also known as CO2, miles below the surface — in the very same deep rock formations where oil and gas have been naturally stored for millions of years. Those deep geologic formations can also include saline reservoirs, that are saturated with salt water that is unsuitable for drinking, agriculture, or other beneficial use. This process has been done safely for decades in projects around the world. CCS facilities and reservoirs are continuously monitored while they are operating and for decades after, to ensure that CO2 stays safely underground. These technologies help clean the air we all breathe.
In California, CCS will be a highly-regulated process in much the same way that the oil and gas industry is regulated — under some of the strictest safety and environmental standards in the world. Aera has always been and will continue to be committed to providing exceptional care for people and the environment, and I and others want this and future generations to be able to enjoy the beautiful natural resources that are the crown jewels of California.
Aera puts the health and safety of people and the environment first because this is home for our employees too. My wife and I are raising our two young children here in Bakersfield which makes me personally invested in protecting this and future generations from the effects of climate change.
I also see Aera helping to protect the health and safety of our community in other ways that extend far beyond reimagined energy infrastructure. We provide good-paying jobs and that bring along with them economic stability that helps both families and communities thrive and prosper. CCS alone has the potential to grow into a multi-billion-dollar industry in Kern County, supporting thousands of jobs and providing millions of dollars in tax revenues that support vital services.
This new journey is a perfect fit for Aera’s experienced geologists, scientists, engineers, and others, who have the knowledge and expertise to help lead California in this energy transition. But we can’t do it alone, we will need to pull on the best of who we are as a community and a state to ensure all voices are heard during the energy transition, build on each other’s strengths and create constructive collaborations that ensure we build an energy future we can all be proud of.
Jonathan Dethloff and other industry experts talk CCS on a 2023 Kern County Economic Summit panel: