Dec 26, 2008


What's wrong with this plan? In a nutshell:

1) The plan entails as many as
100,000 separate CO2 disposal sites in the U.S. alone. This would require creation of a hazardous-waste-CO2 disposal industry as big as, or bigger than, the oil industry.[1]

2) Creating and running an enormous CO2 hazardous-waste disposal industry would roughly double the cost of fossil-fueled electricity. But this would make solar energy cost-competitive, so why not invest in renewable solar power now instead of investing in a dead-end CO2- waste disposal industry?

3) It would take decades to build this huge new CCS industry -- but we need solutions to the CO2 problem soon.
Solar power plants can be built much faster than this experimental CCS plan could develop.

4) The coal industry calls coal-with-carbon-capture "clean coal." But in reality coal-with-carbon-capture emits
60 times as much CO2, per kiloWatt of electricity, compared to a wind turbine making the same electricity.

4) CCS itself would require lots of energy. For every four power plants, we would have to build a fifth power plant just to capture and store CO2. This would waste even more coal and oil.

5) Every engineer knows that avoiding waste is far better than managing waste.
So CCS is fundamentally bad design. [For example, see the widely-endorsed
Principles of Green Engineering.]

6) Instead of solving the CO2 problem that we've created, CCS would pass the problem along to our children and their children and their children's children. Basically buried CO2 could never be allowed to leak back out. We should take responsibility for our own problems, not pass them to our children to manage.

7) Scientists paid by the fossil fuel companies say the CO2 will never leak back out of the ground. What if they're mistaken? Then our children and grandchildren will inherit a hot, acid-ocean, ruined world.

8) Sooner or later we're going to run out of fossil fuels -- all of them -- so eventually we have to adopt solar power. CCS just delays the inevitable -- a huge waste of time and money.
We should skip CCS and go solar today.