As Federal Money Flows to Carbon Capture and Storage, Texas Bets on an Undersea Bonanza

Hungry for royalties, the state is awarding offshore leases to oil and gas companies that hope to bury heat-trapping carbon dioxide deep beneath the seafloor. But critics worry about leakage through rock layers, pipeline safety and the lackluster record of carbon capture facilities onshore.

Over the last century, the state of Texas has reaped billions of dollars by allowing companies to burrow into the floor of the Gulf of Mexico to extract oil and gas. Now, the General Land Office—the state agency tasked with protecting the vulnerable Texas shoreline and other natural resources—is eyeing carbon sequestration as the next industry to develop in the Gulf.