Public Interest Groups Oppose Carbon Capture Scam

Written by Ananda

Topics: Agribusiness, Coal, Finance

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In conjunction with the international release of a report by Greenpeace today – that identifies the ridiculous risk, uncertainty and cost associated with industry-driven plans for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS),

Public interest groups (from across the country) sent the following letter to Congress, demanding that taxpayer subsidies be disallowed CCS, and that safe, affordable and market-ready energy technologies such as wind and solar be funded instead.

Dear Members of Congress

On behalf of our members and supporters we are writing to express our opposition to any policies that promote or provide taxpayer subsidies for carbon capture and storage (CCS), the practice of trapping carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion and storing it below the sea or beneath the surface of the earth.

As you know, global warming is one of the greatest challenges facing the planet today. To avoid the worst impacts of global warming scientists have warned that we need to reduce global warming pollution by at least 80 percent by 2050. Climate stabilization, national security and economic prosperity depend on substantially reducing our use of fossil fuels. That means no new investments in major infrastructure that increases fossil fuel dependence. Every dollar invested in CCS is a dollar unavailable for investment in renewable energy, efficient vehicles and energy efficiency.

CCS raises a number of serious financial, environmental and safety concerns:

· CCS cannot deliver in time. The best-case scenario is that the technology would be ready by 2030. Every decision made about new power plants today influences the energy mix for the next 30-40 years. We need to make the smartest choices to address the global warming crisis and invest in proven solutions as soon as possible.

· CCS is cost intensive. It increases the cost of power generation by 40 to 80 percent compared with conventional coal plants. Current research shows electricity generated from coal equipped with CCS will be more expensive than other less polluting sources, such as, wind power.

· CCS technology reduces the efficiency of power plants. Up to 30 percent more fossil fuel must be burned when CCS is used to achieve the same power output.

· CCS poses a risk of carbon dioxide leakage. Continuous leakage, even at very low rates, could undermine the climate benefit of CCS and large releases of carbon can also pose significant risk to human health.

As evidenced by mountain-top removal and dangerous emissions, CCS cannot make coal clean. Renewable energy sources are already available without the negative environmental impacts that are associated with fossil fuel exploitation, transport and processing. It is renewable energy together with energy efficiency and energy conservation that has to increase so that the primary cause of climate change – the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas – is stopped.

We strongly urge you to oppose any policies that provide mandates or taxpayer funded incentives for CCS. We should instead fund clean, renewable, domestic sources of energy, energy efficiency and conservation. Congress must prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants that are inconsistent with an energy future that is good for the economy, the environment, national security, and safe for communities.


ActionPA Alliance for Appalachia Appalachian Voices Black Mesa Water Coalition California Communities Against Toxics Canary Coalition Cape & Islands Self-Reliance Corporation Center for Coalfield Justice Co-op America Chesapeake Climate Action Network Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Clean Power Now Coal River Mountain Watch Cook Inletkeeper Energy Justice Network Environmental Alliance of North Florida Environmental Research Foundation • Friends of the Earth Global Exchange The Grand Canyon Trust Green Delaware Greenpeace Heartwood Help Our Polluted Environment Indigenous Environmental Network Jefferson Action Group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Meigs Citizen Action Now Mountain Watershed Association North Carolina Waste Awareness & Reduction Network Nuclear Information and Resource Service Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition • Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition Protect Biodiversity in Public Forests Rainforest Action Network Residents Against the Power Plant Rising Tide North America Save It Now, Glades! Save Our Cumberland Mountains Southern Energy Network Valley Watch

3 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. sparki says:

    coal can never be clean. it’s drenched in the blood of communities from appalachia to arizona and beyond.

    watch for more uprisings like this against false solutions like CCS:

    Activist groups protest new ‘clean-coal’ practice of carbon sequestration
    By Larisa Brass (Contact)
    Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    Saul Young

    Franz Raeter holds a sign protesting coal mining and promoting renewable energy Monday along Summit Hill Drive just before a press conference organized by Save Our Cumberland Mountains and Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville. Members of both groups gathered in Market Square to support and promote a recently released Greenpeace study.

    Saul Young

    Stephen Holland of SPEAK talks about concerns over energy issues Monday on Market Square. A press conference held by two activist groups promoted a recently released Greenpeace study that states carbon capture and storage is an unproven technology and is costly to taxpayers.

    Calling carbon storage technology too expensive and a hollow answer to the environmental issues surrounding coal as an energy source, two local environmental groups on Monday protested federal legislation they say encourages development of coal-based power production.

    Save Our Cumberland Mountains, a state citizens organization, and Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville, a group based at the University of Tennessee, held a press conference in Knoxville’s Market Square, beneath the Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters towers, to protest what they called a “$424 billion federal boondoggle to promote the continued use of coal to produce electricity,” according to a release.

    The groups cited a study, “False Hope: Why Carbon Capture and Storage Won’t Save the Climate,” released Monday by the international environmental group Greenpeace, criticizing measures included in a climate bill introduced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John Warner that would provide incentives for development of clean-coal technologies such as carbon sequestration. This technology would pipe carbon dioxide generated by coal-fired steam plants deep into the ground to prevent the greenhouse gas from being released into the air. Carbon dioxide is believed to be one of the main contributors to global warming.

    Carrying banners reading, “Out of sight, out of mind is not always true” and “Carbon capture and storage does not make coal clean,” local group leaders said funds aimed at encouraging clean-coal production and electricity generation should be focused instead on developing better renewable- fuel generation technologies such as wind and solar.

    “Our position is we need to start phasing out coal as soon as possible,” said Cathie Bird, chair of the Save Our Cumberland Mountain, or SOCM, strip mining committee.

    “Why be putting money into a fossil fuel that’s going to be running its course anyway?” added Ann League, also with SOCM.

    League said in addition to the environmental effects of mining coal – and strip mining in particular, which blasts away mountaintops to remove the coal inside – the communities in their shadow do not benefit economically from the operations and are often left in a depressed state when the mines are closed.

    “Sustainable jobs” helping to produce renewable generation technologies would better serve these “coalfield communities,” she said.

    According to the Greenpeace report, carbon storage technology would require 10 percent to 40 percent of the power produced by a station to operate, will not be viable until at least 2030, cannot be guaranteed as a safe and permanent storage solution and is expensive, potentially leading to a 21 percent to 91 percent increase in the price of power for consumers.

    TVA generates just over 60 percent of its power from coal, with the balance coming from nuclear, hydro and wind sources, according to spokesman John Moulton.

    He said the agency has no current plans to roll out carbon capture and storage technologies at its coal-fired plants.

    “The primary reason is that there’s really no technology that exists today that would be economical for a utility to capture carbon,” he said. However, he said, TVA is a member of both the Electric Power Research Institute and the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, which are examining workable technologies for carbon sequestration.

    Today’s event was to have been held at the plaza between TVA’s office towers, but TVA police asked protestors to move to city property, an agency policy, said Moulton.

  2. Engineer says:

    Do any of you have any education in CCS? From what I’ve gathered, I doubt it. Leave it to the pros to tell you what’s best. Gasification IS CLEAN, fools. I do this EVERYDAY.

  3. Idiots says:

    You enviro-nazis want clean power and cheap power. Get with the program.

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