Saturday, February 16, 2008

FutureGen Plant

The Washington Post today has an editorial titled "The Demise of FutureGen: The cancellation of a clean-coal project shows there's no silver bullet for climate change." It begins:
PRESIDENT BUSH announced in 2004 and then continually promoted a public-private venture he hoped would usher in an era of clean coal and be a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to address global warming. The FutureGen plant would have created electricity by stripping coal of harmful carbon dioxide and pumping the gas underground. The result would be power generation with zero greenhouse gas emissions. In December, Mattoon, Ill., was selected as the site for the coal plant. And then, on Jan. 30, Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman pulled the plug.
Comment: I am no expert on this technology. I have read accounts which suggest that there are few places with a geology that would guarantee that carbon dioxide sequestered underground would stay there.

What does seem clear is that this is another failure of the Bush administration's science and technology capacity. Either it was wrong a few years ago in promoting this huge project, or it is wrong now in its drastic modification.

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