The EPA's new proposed power plant rules offer an unyielding compromise: If you want to burn coal in America in the 21st century, fine, but you have to clean up after yourself. The rules would basically make it impossible to open a new coal-powered facility unless it has carbon-capture-and-sequestration (CCS) technology that can keep some of its carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the air.
Despite an abundance of underground storage space where CO2 could conceivably be stashed, only a dozen or so carbon-capture projects are operating or under construction worldwide. And in a bad sign for any coal barons who might still be optimistic about the future of coal burning in the U.S., one of the world’s most ambitious carbon-capture efforts has just been abandoned in Norway. That development coincides with news of nearly billion-dollar cost overruns at another CCS project in Mississippi.
Reuters reports that Norway’s outgoing center-left government dropped its plans Friday for a CCS project that it had once likened in ambition to sending humans to the moon. It would have pumped CO2 from a natural gas plant at the industrial site of Mongstad deep underground: