Too much carbon dioxide pollution spewing out of coal-powered plants?
The solution may be to bury the problem.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) was suggested in reports from the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this year as a way to mitigate the worst ravages of climate change, which they warn will not leave any part of the planet unscathed.
CCA is the process of capturing carbon dioxide and storing it underground or under the ocean.
Climate Central journalist Bobby Magill explained it like this:
“CO2 is captured from a coal-fired power plant, compressed and then injected into an air-tight rock formation thousands of feet underground.”
The Environmental Protection Agency requirements for new coal-powered plants is the implementation of CCS technology, which would allow new plants to burn coal, but 60 percent of the resulting carbon emissions would be taken out of the equation as a climate change contributor.
A recent study published in Science found that carbon emissions could be safely stored underground free of leakage for up to a million years.
Studies to store carbon emissions under the ocean floor have been underway for years, including recent research by the Department of Energy along the Newark Basin west of the Hudson River.
“One of the biggest advantages of storing carbon dioxide beneath the Atlantic is that the ocean water keeps the carbon dioxide under a lot of pressure, keeping the gas dissolved in solution, while also being buried beneath possibly thousands of feet of siltstone or mudstone in addition to being locked into the same rock formations found beneath the Palisades,” said David Goldberg, Lamont-Doherty geophysics and marine geology professor.
There is real promise in the use of CCS until the world can transition to wind, solar and other renewables.
***Delilah Jean Williams is an environmental journalist, political junkie and Artistic Director for Keystone Prairie Dog; keystone-prairie-dogs.com, which is a fundraising project to support environmental groups for extraordinary efforts to protect Great Plains habitat and prairie dogs in the wild. The goal is to use humorous images, social commentary and serious-minded reports to challenge government on numerous levels, including accountability to the people, the environment and Earth’s natural resources.