Enjoy, Explore, and Protect the Planet Sierra Club Allegheny Group, Pennsylvania Chapter

Climate Change Coal Campaign

Critical Carbon Sequestration Project Dropped

Graph of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii

What is one to do about all that carbon dioxide that we earthlings pump into the atmosphere every year? If you are a climate change denier then that doesn’t matter, but for the rest of us it is a huge concern. Most of the CO2 is emitted when fossil fuels are burned – about 33 billion metric tons in 2008 – of which 40 percent was from burning coal. One idea promoted by the coal industry is to capture the CO2 at power plants and store or sequester it below ground. This Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) idea is part of the ‘clean coal’ technology included in the Obama administration’s energy independence strategy. Last week CCS was dealt a severe blow when the utility American Electric Power decided to halt plans to build a $668 million CCS plant in West Virginia. The company cited possible failure to raise rates to pay for the project, along with uncertainty of Congressional action on climate change legislation.

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