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Montana and Wyoming Governors Float Untested ‘Carbon Capture’ Projects

December 05, 2016

Tom Lutey for the Billings Gazette:

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead joined Bullock in listing the carbon capture opportunities of the dual state project, which is included in a 14-state report listing carbon capture opportunities.

“Capture of CO2 from power plants for use in enhanced oil recovery can provide economic, environmental and national security benefits long into the future,” said Bullock. “The report Gov. Mead and I are releasing today will help inform policy makers and the business community how we can shape our energy future by design, not happenstance,” Bullock said in a press release.

The report discusses the potential for carbon capture, as well as the influences of market forces and government policies.

The governors recommended tax credits as a carbon capture incentive, as well as tax-exempt bonding and policies that assure the price of oil isn’t driven up by the cost of carbon capture. Mead said disposing with carbon dioxide was critical to developing American fossil fuels.
Critics of carbon capture say that after 20 years of federally funded projects, there’s been little carbon captured and billions of dollars spent.

“Attempts to implement ‘carbon capture and storage’ at coal plants in the U.S. have turned out to be little more than very costly experiments,” said Sandy Buchanan, executive director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “The people of Montana and Wyoming deserve better leadership. Both states have tremendous, neglected potential in renewable energy. That’s where the economic future is, and that’s where elected officials should be encouraging investment.”

Buchanan cited a half-dozen carbon sequestration projects at power plants that cost billions of dollars before being abandoned. IEEFA has been involved in the debate to shutter Colstrip Units 1 and 2 because of pollution concerns.

“Massive ‘clean coal’ projects, including Southern Co.’s ratepayer-subsidized Kemper experiment in Mississippi and Duke Energy’s failed Edwardsport project in Indiana have been financial disasters,” Buchanan said. “The federal government pulled the plug on its FutureGen project last year after sinking a billion dollars into it to little effect. AEP, the Ohio-based utility that consumes more coal than any other, ran a carbon capture and sequestration experiment for a while at its Huntington Plant in West Virginia but canceled the project in 2012 after concluding that the technology was commercially unviable.”

Full article: Govs. Bullock, Mead identify carbon capture opportunities

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