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U.S. Carbon Capture Program Inadequate, MIT Report Says

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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-19-07 05:34 AM
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U.S. Carbon Capture Program Inadequate, MIT Report Says
A new interdisciplinary study carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists and engineers finds that the U.S. Department of Energy program to develop carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is not advancing this technology as quickly as it is needed. CCS involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources, such as power plants, and subsequently storing it in geological formations, deep oceans, or in the form of mineral carbonates.

Speaking at the reports launch last Thursday, study group co-chair and former CIA Director John Deutch noted that a key assumption of the study is the adoption of a $25-per-ton tax on CO2 emissions starting in 2015, which would increase thereafter at a rate of 4 percent annually. Such a regulation would stimulate a shift to less carbon-intensive fuels, promote the development of cleaner technologies, and lead to a potential stabilization of emissions by mid-century, he concluded.

The studys authors are critical of the Department of Energys CCS program for its focus on research rather than large-scale demonstration projects, which they believe are needed to accelerate development of commercial CCS. The DOE Clean Coal program is not on a path to address our priority recommendations because the level of funding falls far short of what is required, they write.

The report concludes that government leadership is critical both to demonstrate the practicality of CCS technology and to facilitate a smooth transition to a carbon-constrained economy. It points out that retrofitting conventional coal plants with the technology will be prohibitively expensive and that developers are likely to shirk away from building new CCS-equipped plants until regulations require it.


MIT Report:
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