There’s big news that today the administration will announce new carbon dioxide limits for coal-fired electric plants. First, note that the Supreme Court already has said that carbon dioxide can be regulated as a pollutant.  (I don’t know why the president doesn’t keep pressing this fact, but that’s just me.)

The only way really under consideration for getting out the CO2 is CCS, carbon capture and sequestration. There’s a good rundown of the pros and cons of this approach here.

My conclusion is that CCS is not at all ready for prime time. First of all, making it happen requires a lot of extra energy, resulting in even more CO2 than otherwise. It’s retrograde, to coin a term. And I don’t see the research on CCS really being complete. Glowing research reports do not define success. Furthermore, there’s that nagging problem that this stuff might not stay stay put. Gases rise, after all.

On the other side of the issue, why not put the money and effort into renewables? Take the money the electric power industry would spend on CCS and put it into solar, wind, wave energy, etc., and renewables research, including improving power storage methods. Let’s get out from under carbon altogether. The sooner, the better.


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