An interagency task force looking at long-term federal strategy for so-called clean coal technologies released its final report today. The verdict? There are
An interagency task force looking at long-term federal strategy for so-called “clean coal” technologies released its final report today. The verdict? There are no “insurmountable” barriers to commercial-scale deployment of the technology.
But there are a number of barriers to surmount. According to the report, uncertainty about climate change policy, high costs, regulatory uncertainty and potential concerns about liability are all major barriers.
According to the report:
Administration analyses of proposed climate change legislation suggest that CCS technologies will not be widely deployed in the next two decades absent financial incentives that supplement projected carbon prices. In addition to the challenges associated with cost, these projects will need to meet regulatory requirements that are currently under development. Long-standing regulatory programs are being adapted to meet the circumstances of CCS, but limited experience and institutional capacity at the Federal and State1 level may hinder implementation of CCS-specific requirements. Key legal issues, such as long-term liability and property rights, also need resolution.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, whereby harmful carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants are collected and sequestered deep in the ground, is seen by many in the administration as the only hope for continuing to rely on the nation’s abundant supply of coal. While the administration has called for a transition to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, coal with CCS is seen one near-term way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But many environmentalists argue that CCS is an expensive and unrealistic pipe dream, citing soaring cost estimates and delays in demonstrating the technology on a commercial scale.
One issue that must be dealt with is liability or the question of who is responsible for the potential damages that could be caused by injecting large amounts of carbon dioxide into the ground and storing it there for thousands of years. The coal industry argues that it cannot be held fully responsible for such long-term liability.
The report calls on the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior and the Treasury Department to provide recommendations on the issue by late 2011. In the meantime, the report gives a number of potential solutions to the liability dilemma. They include limiting future liability claims, creating an fund into which companies would pay to cover potential claims and the transfer of liability to the federal government.
These liability concerns echo the ongoing battle in Congress over a company’s liability in the event of an oil spill.
Giffords shooting leads nation to introspection and political finger wagging
In the wake of the shooting in Arizona this weekend that critically injured Rep.
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’
All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some