U.S. Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Greg Walden, R-Ore., recently received a response to their April 21 letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu that confirms the lawmakers’ concern that there is no assurance that the carbon capture and sequestration technologies that the Waxman-Markey global warming bill heavily relies on will be commercially viable in time to meet the mandatory 2025 deadline.
Barton, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Walden, ranking member of the committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, in their letter asked Chu to detail the carbon capture and sequestration projects his agency has funded and offer a realistic timeframe for projection completion.
“The administration’s letter uses nine pages and a ton of words to say very little. Yet it can’t obscure the fact that the Waxman-Markey bill’s assumptions on dates for carbon capture and sequestration deployment just won’t work, and DOE knows it,” Barton said. “Absent full-scale commercial deployment on CCS technology, we’re going to have no new coal plants built and people are going to pay the price in lost jobs and big electric bills.”
“The Department of Energy reveals that a near-commercial scale project to capture and sequester carbon from coal-fired electricity plants is a decade or more away, under the best of circumstances. Yet the new government mandates in the global warming, cap and trade legislation would take effect before the technology is even close to being ready for commercial use,” Walden said. “This is a further example of how this legislation is out of sync with reality. Republicans offered an alternative that advanced clean coal technology and didn’t put electricity generators in the position of reducing emissions before the technology to do so was available. The bill that passed the Energy and Commerce Committee last week puts an unfair burden on consumers and creates a very problematic predicament for electricity generators.”