House to Hold Hearing on Viability of Carbon Capture and Storage Systems

By March 11, 2014General

Tomorrow March 12th the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a hearing entitled “Science of Capture and Storage: Understanding EPA’s Carbon Rules”. The hearing will explore the EPA’s conclusion that carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems are “adequately demonstrated” for use in limiting carbon dioxide emissions in commercial power plants. These CCS systems have been at the forefront of the EPA’s proposed power plant rules that will place a huge burden on the nation’s energy supply that threatens our manufacturing competitiveness.

EPA Administrator McCarthy recently stated that power plant rulemaking has drawn an “unprecedented” number of comments, and with good reason. While the EPA claims that the nascent technology is sufficiently developed, all the evidence seems to point to the contrary.

The hearing will feature a panel of speakers from the environment, technology and utility fields. Among them is Robert Hilton, Vice President for Government Affairs at Alstom Power Inc., which is a leader in CCS technologies. Hilton will testify that, while CCS has been proven at smaller pilot projects, there is not a single power plant in the world that has demonstrated CCS on the commercial scale necessary to meet the EPA standards. This is exactly what the NAM and other industry leaders have been saying all along – the EPA’s performance standards are unattainable and will effectively shut out vital fossil fuels as viable energy sources.

The NAM has advocated heavily for an all-of-the-above approach to energy policies. As the testimony in this hearing will highlight, the Administration has pushed its own agenda above the protests of manufacturers of the technology who know it simply isn’t viable. While it might be wishful thinking that another hearing will make the EPA change their course, it’s certainly better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

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