Coal’s future is directly correlated to the development of new technologies that scrub it of all harmful emissions as well as those that would capture and bury carbon emissions. That’s what a broad task force has concluded.
The findings, spearheaded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, say that carbon capture and sequestration is possible within a decade. That, in turn, will help coal maintain relevance. The tools to allow for such advancement, however, will remain elusive unless federal lawmakers act to price carbon emissions and commit to 5 demonstration projects in the coming years.
“Around the world countries are moving aggressively on investing in clean energy,” says Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The U.S. has the ability to develop clean energy innovation here at home. Rather than sending billions overseas to pay for clean technologies, we should invest these dollars here – in America’s workers, industries, and innovations.” Fourteen federal agencies and hundreds stakeholders participated.
The U.S. government is hoping that this facility can be replicated around the world. But the task force says that the private sector must be motivated to do so. And that’s something that can be accomplished by establishing a price on carbon and by creating a federal committee to ensure that demonstration projects soon get built. Concerns over long-term liabilities should also be addressed, it adds, or ones that would transfer any cause of action to the federal government if an underground project would fail.