More Fantasy Policy from CCS

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on May 30, 2008

in Blog

Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

Earlier this week I wrote for American Spectator about how the state climate commissions and the Center for Climate Strategies, despite the global frowning at biofuels policies, continue to promote the conversion of crops into fuels so that cars crap less CO2. Well, now another darling technology of these state panels and CCS — carbon capture and sequestration — has been exposed today by the New York Times:

For years, scientists have had a straightforward idea for taming global warming. They want to take the carbon dioxide that spews from coal-burning power plants and pump it back into the ground….

But it has become clear in recent months that the nation’s effort to develop the technique is lagging badly….

But the failure to start building, testing, tweaking and perfecting carbon capture and storage means that developing the technology may come too late to make coal compatible with limiting global warming.

“It’s a total mess,” said Daniel M. Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley….

About $50 million has been spent on FutureGen, about $40 million in federal money and $10 million in private money, to draw up preliminary designs, find a site that had coal, electric transmission and suitable geology, and complete an Environmental Impact Statement, among other steps.

But in January, the government pulled out after projected costs nearly doubled, to $1.8 billion. The government feared the costs would go even higher. A bipartisan effort is afoot on Capitol Hill to save FutureGen, but the project is on life support.

Don't expect this to deter states and CCS from continuing to ram this idea down utilities' and consumers' throats. For example, here's what the Montana Climate Change Advisory Committee recommended in its final report:

The CCAC recommends that Montana direct DEQ or direct the state to enter into a regional collaborative effort to develop standards and protocols for CCSR. It also recommends that Montana strengthen the Major Facility Siting Act to enable eminent domain for pipelines to transport CO2 and protect landowners with appropriate siting requirements and address liability issues associated with carbon capture and storage. Finally, it recommends that Montana create a requirement that all fossil-fuel–fired electric generation facilities must meet a technology/fuel-neutral emissions level expressed in tCO2/MWh (megawatt-hour). Facilities must file a plan with the DEQ Air Permitting Section that details the facility’s commitment to capture and/or
sequester (by geological or terrestrial means) CO2 emissions, as an attribute of operating plans and permits and as needed to achieve this level.

The same thing is being pushed by CCS through similar climate commissions in nearly two-dozen states. Liability issues? Eminent domain? Permitting? And now even the New York Times reports it's not even feasible?

Based on CCS's track record, don't expect them to back away. They are wedded to the impossible, at any cost, and ignore any serious analysis on climate effect, cost-benefit, and feasibility. They are fantasy chasers who won't stop until they reach Oz.

The alarmists' models are collapsing all around them, and now so are their proposed solutions.

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