The truth about carbon sequestration
All too often when coal is mentioned in the media we hear something like this:
But the big issue is global warming. Burning coal accounts for more than one-third of U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. In a single year, a big coal plant emits as much carbon dioxide as 1 million SUVs. Coal plants that are built today emit just as much CO2 as those that were built 50 years ago (there have been some marginal gains in efficiency, but not many). In the future, carbon dioxide might be captured from coal plants and pumped underground into abandoned oil wells or deep saline aquifers, but at the moment, these solutions are unproven and expensive.I don't mean to criticise this particular article or passage per se. What I mean to highlight is the part where clean coal is suggested as a possible alternative in the future. Depending on who writes the editorial you'll get more of the Al Gore and his alarmist socialist henchmen just want to destroy the economy, yet the coal industry is working feverishly on providing tomorrow's clean coal technology and less of the your flying car should arrive shortly. Read more about the author here.
The coal industry is soaking up billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to develop technology and study the problem. But according to climate scientists such as NASA's James Hansen, if we hope to have a chance of avoiding dangerous changes to Earth's climate, we don't have time to wait. That's why Hansen, along with former vice president Al Gore and others, has called for a moratorium on new coal plants that do not capture and store carbon dioxide pollution. And that's why Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into clean-energy technology -- because they know that confronting the problem of global warming is not just the biggest challenge that civilization has ever faced, but also the mother of all economic opportunities.
But what does the coal industry really think about carbon sequestration?
Firstly, the value of carbon sequestration is political: n.b. it is not technological or economic.That's a rare candid moment from professional liars.
There is opposition to power generation systems that emit CO2 as waste (this is similar to opposition to nuclear power systems that emit radioactive waste). A response to the opposition is neeeded until the AGW scare is ended. And claims of carbon sequestration (cs) provide that needed response although eveybody knows cs would be too expensive for it to be used.