10/6/14

Fueling America’s Future with Clean Coal

Attorneys & Professionals

Zack Space, a principal with Vorys Advisors, authored an op-ed for The Hill titled “Fueling America’s Future with Clean Coal.” The op-ed highlighted recent advancements in clean coal technology and the impact those advancements could have on energy policy.

The op-ed states:

We are nearing a collective realization that the coal we burn is a primary contributor to the frightening specter of climate change. Sound science estimates that the economic costs of doing nothing could substantially exceed the costs of aggressive carbon reduction policies, and that the longer we wait to address the issue, the more it will cost. These two prominent features of our time—global competition and climate change—are on a collision course that seems destined to end in disaster. 

Conceptually, carbon capture and sequestration has for years been seen as the answer to this dilemma. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suggested that CCS at power plants could prove essential to restrain global warming. But the high cost of capturing, and then sequestering carbon, has made this solution unfeasible. Now, thanks to increasing advances in the science of CCS, coupled with the rapid rise of vast new potential  for CO2 in America’s oil fields, a solution is emerging—one that renders carbon capture models economically viable, and that holds the added promise of reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. As David Crane, president and CEO of NRG, said, ‘the best way for us to avoid the harmful consequences of emitting carbon into the atmosphere is to turn it into a productive asset here on Earth.’

Carbon has already proved to be an effective and highly economical means by which to enhance oil recovery from gas and oil wells. The dream of creating efficient, fully integrated carbon capture and utilization models is becoming a reality. In September, NRG Energy and a Japanese partner broke ground on an estimated $1 billion project in Texas. Roughly 90 percent of the carbon captured from the existing coal-fired power plant will be shipped 80 miles by pipeline to oil companies and used to produce petroleum.“

To read the op-ed, visit The Hill’s website.