Spokesman Stresses Carbon Storage Regulation

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could significantly reduce global warming pollution from coal-fired plants and other industrial processes, but only if properly regulated, according to testimony Jan. 31 by a Texas-based energy policy specialist before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

"We aren’t champions of coal, but we are realists," said Scott Anderson, the specialist who works for Environmental Defense. "…We believe that energy efficiency and renewable energy measures are smarter options. However, since the transition away from fossil fuels is likely to take a very long time, we foresee a long-term need to deal with coal-based emissions, and therefore, the sooner we begin to develop CCS technology, the better."

Anderson testified on "The Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Study Act of 2007" (S. 2144), which would require a feasibility study of constructing and operating carbon dioxide pipelines and sequestration facilities, and "The Carbon Capture and Storage Technology Act of 2007" (S. 2323), which would establish an interagency task force to develop CCS regulations.

CCS is the process of capturing carbon dioxide from industrial processes and then injecting it into deep geological formations, including deep saline reservoirs and existing oil and gas fields, where it can safely remain for thousands of years. The result would be a significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

"Public acceptance of CCS will happen only if the public is confident that rigorous and credible regulatory oversight is in place," Anderson said.

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