Carbon Capture's Clean Coal Ambition

Carbon Capture's Clean Coal Ambition

May 16, 2017

Carbon Capture and Storage has the potential to dramatically reduce the carbon emissions from the burning of coal.  Yet the technology’s boosters need to overcome high costs, and major infrastructure challenges, if they’re to make a dent in emissions.

Carbon capture and storage offers the promise of slashing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, and has been touted by some in the electricity industry as part of a basket of “clean coal” technologies that will dramatically reduce the fuel’s environmental impact and provide a lifeline to the U.S. coal sector.  Yet CCS is the only clean coal technology that has yet to prove feasible at a scale, and existing CCS projects are few and far between.

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy senior fellow John Quigley takes a look at efforts to reduce the technology’s cost and the relative lack of government support to date for CCS.  Quigley also discusses CCS’s environmental promise and whether it can be deployed in time to make a positive climate impact.

Guest John Quigley served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from January 2015 to May 2016 and as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources from 2009 to 2011. Quigley led some of the nation’s most advanced work on the potential of Carbon Capture and Storage under former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell. He is currently a senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.

Recent Kleinman Center publications on the challenges faced by the fossil fuel industry are available through these links: