Carbon Capture

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, several lawmakers from the Ohio Valley region have joined a bipartisan push to fund what’s called carbon capture and storage. That technology can strip CO2 from power plant emissions. But it is also extremely expensive.

Glynis Board spoke with a journalist who just spent a year traveling around the world to explore the topic.

A bipartisan group in Congress, including several Ohio Valley lawmakers, is pushing for more federal support for poorly understood technology known as carbon capture and storage. The lawmakers and an uncommon alliance of labor, business, and environmental groups want to pass legislation called the FUTURE Act which would speed commercial deployment of technology that reduces carbon dioxide emissions from industries that burn fossil fuels.

Such technology has been in development for decades. Today, a number of commercial-scale projects exist demonstrating various technologies that  “scrub” CO2 from the waste stream and store it underground are possible. However, scaling those projects up to levels that would affect the atmosphere in significant ways is still prohibitively expensive.

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

There’s been much deliberation over the last week regarding new Environmental Protection Agency proposals for regulating coal fired power plant carbon emissions. State officials are very discouraged by the ideas. But as Ben Adducchio reports, there are also proposals on the table for how to regulate future power plants, and some are asking whether any will be built again in West Virginia.

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The United Mine Workers of America is joining the coal industry in a rare occasion to oppose proposed regulations meant to curb carbon emissions.  The industry worries the regulations will financially cripple coal’s economy, as well as West Virginia and everyone dependent on a coal job.

With 95 percent of the energy produced in West Virginia coming from coal fired power plants, many within the industry feel the state will be the hardest hit by the new proposal.

Roger Horton, a retired miner from Logan County paints a grim picture already evolving in coal country.

He sees an EPA ignoring its economic impact on countless coal mining families.

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

The Environmental Protection Agency is going to be releasing new rules on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in the next few weeks. It’s an issue of great concern for many who rely on coal for work. But some also see it as an opportunity.

About 84 percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions into Earth’s atmosphere are from carbon dioxide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and much of that carbon dioxide comes from burning fossil fuels like coal. The EPA is taking action as, under the Clean Air Act, to enforce cuts in carbon emissions for cleaner air.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A recent town meeting in Grafton allowed residents to discuss ideas on what projects they would like to work on as part of the Turn This Town Around project. The historic Rose Garden Theater adored by so many may once again have a reason to shine. Also, our friends at The Allegheny Front take a look at carbon capture technology and the hurdles it faces in solving the problems of carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal.