The Practical Impossibility of Large-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage

From MasterResource

By Steve Goreham — May 2, 2023

“CCS has been slow to take off due to the cost of capture and the limited salability of carbon dioxide as a product. Thirty-nine CCS facilities capture CO2 around the world today, totaling 45 million tons per year, or about one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of industrial emissions produced globally.”

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on a new rule that would set stringent limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from US power plants. Utilities would be required to retrofit existing plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology or to switch to hydrogen fuel. Others call for the use of CCS to decarbonize heavy industry. But the cost of capture and the amount of CO2 that proponents say needs to be captured crush any ideas about feasibility.

Carbon capture and storage is the process of capturing carbon dioxide from an industrial plant before it enters the atmosphere, transporting it, and storing it for centuries to millennia. Capture may be accomplished by filtering it from combustion exhaust streams. Pipelines are proposed to transport the captured CO2. Underground reservoirs could be used for storage. For the last two decades, advocates have proposed CCS to reduce emissions from coal plants and steel, chemical, and other hard-to-decarbonize industries in order to fight human-caused climate change.

CCS has been slow to take off due to the cost of capture and the limited salability of carbon dioxide as a product. Thirty-nine CCS facilities capture CO2 around the world today, totaling 45 million tons per year, or about one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of industrial emissions produced globally. Of these, 20 reside in the US or Canada, six in Europe, and five in China. Twenty-four of these facilities use captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. Captured CO2 is injected into oil wells to boost oil output,

The news from these facilities is mixed. Many are not meeting their carbon-capture goals or are incurring costs well over budget. Nevertheless, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, the US, and nations of Europe now offer billions in direct subsidies or tax breaks to firms for capture of CO2 emissions and to build pipelines and storage. Over 300 large and small capture projects are in planning around the world which, after completion, may be able to boost capture to 0.5 percent of man-made emissions.

Illinois, Iowa, and other states are struggling with issues involving plans for CO2 pipelines. Ethanol plants and other facilities propose to capture CO2 and need a new network of pipelines to transport the gas to underground storage sites. These pipelines face strong opposition from local communities over farmland use and safety concerns in the case of a pipeline rupture.

Carbon capture and storage is very expensive. An example concerns plans for CCS in Wyoming, the leading US coal state. Wyoming mined 41 percent of US coal in 2020 and coal-fired plants produced about 85 percent of the state’s electricity. With abundant coal resources and good opportunities to store CO2 underground, Wyoming appeared to be an excellent candidate to use CCS. The state passed House Bill 200 in March 2020, directing utilities to produce 20 percent of electricity from coal plants fitted with CCS by 2030.

In response to the statute, Rocky Mountain Power and Black Hills Energy, Wyoming’s two major power companies, analyzed alternatives for their operations and provided comments to the Wyoming Public Service Commission in March 2022. But the comments were not favorable for CCS. Black Hills Energy determined that adding CCS to two existing coal plants would cost an estimated $980 million, or three times the capital cost expended to build the plants. Rocky Mountain Power stated that adding CCS to its existing plants was “not economically feasible at this time.”

Beyond cost, the amount of carbon dioxide that advocates say must be captured is vast. The amount of CO2 produced by industry is small in global terms, only about five percent of what nature releases into and absorbs from the atmosphere every day. But the amount of industrial CO2 produced is still huge in human terms.

For example, an empty Boeing 747 jumbo jet weighs 412,300 pounds (187,000 kg). Its maximum fuel weight is 433,195 pounds (196,494 kg), more than the empty weight of the aircraft. During fuel combustion, two oxygen atoms are taken from the atmosphere and combined with each carbon atom. For each kilogram of jet fuel burned, 3.16 kilograms of carbon dioxide are created.

Consider the Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, England, the third-largest power plant in Europe, which has been converted to using two-thirds biomass fuel. The plant is experimenting with CCS to reduce emissions. Each day, the plant uses about 20,000 tons of wood pellets delivered by 475 railroad cars. Picture the volume that these railroad cars would carry and then more than double it to get an idea of the amount of CO2 to be captured and stored each day.

The world’s heavy industries use vast amounts of coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Ammonia, cement, plastics, steel, and other industries produce billions of tons of materials each year for agriculture, construction, health care, industry, and transportation. Capturing, transporting, and storing CO2 from these processes would involve trillions of dollars and many decades of investment.

The International Energy Agency calls for 9 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions to be captured and stored by 2050. Today we have a mix of 39 major and minor capture facilities in operation. The IEA estimates that 70 to 100 major capture facilities will need to come online each year until 2050 to achieve this goal. It’s unlikely that even 20 percent of the goal will be achieved, despite hundreds of billions of dollars in spending.


Steve Goreham, a popular speaker on energy, environmental, and public policy issues, is author of three books on energy, sustainable development, and climate change. His previous post at MasterResource was “Green Energy: Greatest Wealth Transfer to the Rich in History,”

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Steve Case
May 3, 2023 2:21 am

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on a new rule that would set stringent limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from US power plants.

From the fables of Aesop:
The council of mice met to figure out how to defeat the Cat. One suggested a bell for the Cat to warn them. Problem: Nobody would volunteer to bell the Cat.

It is easy to propose impossible remedies.

The difference between the EPA and the Council of mice is the mice actually had a problem.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Steve Case
May 3, 2023 3:44 am

Steve, because education has been so dumbed down both in schools and universities, we need to use simple stories like the cat and mice fable to drive home the muddle and inconsistencies of climate alarmism. We need to do all we can to help children in our own families and of our friends and neighbours get a good grounding in Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and Reasoning (logic). We need to do this in our homes to compensate for the deficiencies of modern state-controlled education.This will not bear immediate fruit but in a generation have a noticeable impact. Enquiring young minds, asking hard questions and demanding consistent answers will go a long way to expose the ignorance and inconsistencies of climate alarmists.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
May 3, 2023 11:19 am

I suspect few children are susceptible to such home teaching. You are overwhelmed by their playmates, social media, “news” service, advertising, and the well established, well funded educational system.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steve Case
May 3, 2023 6:58 am

“The difference between the EPA and the Council of mice is the mice actually had a problem.”

Yeah! There is no need to capture CO2. Let the plants have it.

Our leaders are living in a climate change delusion.

Martin Brumby
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 3, 2023 8:00 am

Which they kicked off in the first place.
Even if they do “Own The Science™”.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 4, 2023 5:54 am

CO2 of about 1200 ppm is optimum for growth in greenhouses, according to owners of many square miles of greenhouses in the Netherlands, who pipe-in their CO2 from nearby refineries

As a result, the Netherlands became one of the largest exporters in the world of high-quality fruits, vegetables and flowers

The IPCC has great difficulty admitting to the greening of the earth, due to CO2 ppm increasing from 280, pre- industrial, to 415, about 30% more greening as measured by NASA.

The IPCC and Brussels bureaucrats are collaborating with a traitorous Dutch government to deprive highly-efficient Dutch farmers of livestock and fertilizers

Last edited 27 days ago by wilpost
AGW is Not Science
May 3, 2023 3:38 am

Didn’t we already go through this?! The EPA does NOT have the authority to regulate dispatcheable energy out of existence, since Congress did not explicitly grant the agency such power.

Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” is like Dracula risen from the grave, again.

Last edited 28 days ago by AGW is Not Science
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 3, 2023 4:14 am

All according to plan.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Scissor
May 3, 2023 5:53 am

Contempt of court is their habit, as with New York losing Bruen, and doubling down on a new bill.
WV v EPA was a loss, and is getting the same George Wallace response.

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 3, 2023 7:08 am

The EPA does NOT care! They will do it anyway and force the matter into the courts. With luck, they will get to implement the rules while the matter is being settled.

They call this democracy.

Martin Brumby
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 3, 2023 8:01 am

Just watch ’em keep trying, though.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 3, 2023 11:24 am

I suspect strongly that even if their only written responsibility was to control dog ownership licenses in order to keep the public sidewalks clear of dog droppings, they could and would eventually faniagle that wording into world domination of everyone and everything, no matter any “legal” barriers.

May 3, 2023 3:46 am

An international photographic contest where you can showcase Sweden’s unique natural environment and potentially win a prize.



Fundamental types and variants of Henry’s law constants

Values of Henry’s law constants

Temperature dependence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In physical chemistry, Henry’s law is a gas law that states that the amount of dissolved gas in a liquid is directly proportional to its partial pressure above the liquid. The proportionality factor is called Henry’s law constant. It was formulated by the English chemist William Henry, who studied the topic in the early 19th century. 
Does this not mean that removing CO2 from the atmosphere will be replaced by CO2 being gassed out from the sea which contains at least fifty times more CO2 than the air?

Interested Bystander
Reply to  Tusten02
May 3, 2023 10:03 am

My mind’s already made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts. /s

Reply to  Tusten02
May 5, 2023 5:43 pm

They are not reducing the partial pressure of CO2, but trying to reduce it’s rise, so this won’t cause more CO2 outgassing.

May 3, 2023 3:59 am

In my experience it matters not how [far] away with the faeries their ideas are or how utterly impractical they might be. That is the beauty of them. They signal virtue and tick all the right boxes.

CCS is a lame excuse – if all the forests and plant life of the world (the optimised carbon capturists) cannot make much of a dent then why bother, anyway? Every time it’s the same [progressive] boneheaded approach. So, was Boris Johnson right that the clock started ticking with the birth of the industrial revolution, or do we blame the more distant ancestors who came up with agriculture? The EU goes with both.

“In addition to the plan to buyout — or eventually force out if they refuse — the “peak” emitting farms, the government is also planning a separate scheme that would give dairy, pig, and poultry farmers a deal for 100 per cent of the value of their farm if they wished to shut down. In total, some 1.4 billion euros is expected to be set aside for both farm shutdown schemes.”

“…part of the condition of the buyout scheme is that the Dutch farmers would be prohibited from moving to other countries and starting up farms abroad, meaning that their knowledge and expertise would be squandered.”

Not only do they propose to force they farmers out, they also want to get rid of their expertise. I’m sure there are one or two places that could use some expert help.

Last edited 28 days ago by strativarius
Reply to  strativarius
May 3, 2023 6:32 am

So we close all the farms and replace them with solar panels and wind turbines, yes? Great! We’ll be toasty warm with our electric heating but starving to death at the same time…

No, on second thoughts, we won’t be starving because we’ll be importing food from the poorer countries of this planet, which won’t be able to say “no” at the level of prices which supply and demand will dictate we pay. It’ll be them that starve, having exported all their food production!

Reply to  atticman
May 3, 2023 7:49 am

The poorest countries are not exporting much anyway. The largest food exporters are G8 plus China. If any G8 countries choose to shut down their agriculture, other BRICS countries plus Argentina, Iran and the likes will pick up the slack.

Last edited 28 days ago by Someone
Interested Bystander
Reply to  strativarius
May 3, 2023 10:06 am

So they have shown their hand. Their ultimate goal is to depopulate the planet through mass starvation. Whatever should we do?

Reply to  Interested Bystander
May 3, 2023 8:45 pm

I’m not the least bit worried about what I will be doing in 2050, the target date for “Net Zero”. By that date, I will have already depopulated the planet naturally. I’m just very glad that I didn’t have to live my life knee deep in horse manure, which was the prediction made for 30 years later in 1899.

May 3, 2023 4:43 am

It is not impossible, not even difficult. It is called agriculture, plant crops, tend crops, harvest crops. Carbon captured. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

general custer
Reply to  2hotel9
May 3, 2023 5:23 am

Oddly, it’s seldom expressed by the nomenclatura but effective agriculture is the foundation of humanity. All other pursuits are secondary. Like every living organism, humans have two basic responsibilities, consuming food to sustain life and reproduction. Everything else is a complication. Fettering agriculture marks a return to a literal hand-to-mouth existence that not even the elites will be able to celebrate. We’re living in a world gone mad.

Steve Case
Reply to  2hotel9
May 3, 2023 7:55 am

Please stop suggesting ways to “Capture Carbon.” You are buying into the notion that more CO2 in the air represents a problem, it does not.

Reply to  Steve Case
May 4, 2023 3:39 am

You really are not very intelligent, are you? You don’t have to keep proving what a dense and self-important idiot you are, we get it.

May 3, 2023 5:04 am

The recent JP Morgan Energy review 2023 has a bit on CCS – and some other climate stuff.

It would be good if some of you try to get in touch with the author Michael Cembalest at JP Morgan and correct him on some of the errors.

This link might lead to the report directly, but if not you can download it for free from the JP Morgan website:

May 3, 2023 5:18 am

The Practical Impossibility of Trees

There, shorter headline and much more to the pointed underlying problem.

William Howard
Reply to  prjndigo
May 3, 2023 5:41 am

or – Starve the Plants

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  prjndigo
May 3, 2023 5:50 am

well, trees are now growing faster with all that nice CO2 food

J Boles
May 3, 2023 6:04 am

Story tip, well a very interesting video piece about recycling turbine blades, and solar panels by CBS news – oh boy, ya gonna luv what they are doing with recycled blades in Europe, OMG they are putting them up as monuments to the failure of wind energy.

Wind blades and solar panels head for landfills after being replaced – YouTube

Reply to  J Boles
May 3, 2023 6:17 am

Hang on…

Cement is a no-no

“No Bricks, No Glass, No Cement” – What Net Zero 2050 Demands According to Government-Funded Report
U.K. FIRES sees the future of construction based on stone, earth and timber, along with components “reused and repurposed” from demolition. Recycled steel, cement and bricks can be used, although this will be “constrained” – rationed might be a better word – by a supply of “non-emitting electricity under high demand”. Transformational construction changes will take longer to achieve, state the authors, but the U.K.’s ambitious target of a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030, “can only be achieved through reduced material demand”.

May 3, 2023 6:15 am

Redistributive change, short of physical violence, is a leverage game. That said, all’s fair in lust and abortion.

It doesnot add up
May 3, 2023 6:18 am

The new broom at ERCOT has some common sense things to say.

For 20 years, Vegas said, Texas businesses have enjoyed some of the lowest cost energy in the world because it was a highly efficient market designed specifically to create the lowest cost energy possible at any point in time.

“That’s a fantastic model which has worked very well,” Vegas said. “But when you’ve got a market which says, ‘I’m only designed for efficiency at a low cost,’ you’re missing a really important leg to that stool, and that stool’s in danger of falling over. We crossed over to that point in 2022 at the peak point of the summer when we relied on renewables to be there. If renewables are not there, the power will go out.”

“I want to be very clear about that,” Vegas emphasized. “As the CEO of ERCOT, I’m accountable for that and I’m accountable to the Public Utility Commission and to the legislature in Texas. I want people to know. I’m telling everybody that if renewables are not available at peak points in time, the power will go out, so we need to change the model.”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 3, 2023 7:11 am

““I want to be very clear about that,” Vegas emphasized. “As the CEO of ERCOT, I’m accountable for that and I’m accountable to the Public Utility Commission and to the legislature in Texas. I want people to know. I’m telling everybody that if renewables are not available at peak points in time, the power will go out, so we need to change the model.””

That tells you that you have too many windmills and solar plants attached to the Texas power grid.

Texas needs more conventional power generation to make up for the loss of electricity from windmills and solar, when they don’t work, due to the wind not blowing or the sun setting..

So why have windmills and solar in the first place, if you have to build an equal amount of conventional power generation right along beside them? You are, in effect, building more generation capacity than is needed, if you use windmills and solar, so you electric bills go higher as a result.

Texas has hit the unreliable power generation wall. Thats what the CEO is saying.

Last edited 28 days ago by Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 3, 2023 9:02 am

The Texas population increases over 1200 people a day every day. That requires a continuous increase in power generation just to handle normal demand. Clearly there are benefits from the influx of people and industry but they come with consequences.

Peta of Newark
May 3, 2023 6:19 am

If the desert and farmland land area of this Earth, (=all Earth’s dry land but not inc land that is frozen ice) was totted up, it would be:

  • = 1e14 square metres
  • = 1e10 Hectares
  • = 2.47e10 Acres

If that ground was growing something that was perennially green,
for example, Douglas Fir, tropical forest or subtropical perennial grasses,
……that land would be pulling CO2 out of the air at a rate of 5 Tonnes per acre per year..ish. roundabout

You work it out, but I say that the atmosphere would be down from 410ppm to 0ppm of CO2 (zero parts per million) inside 26 years….(twenty six years)
(Taking 1ppm to be= 7.8e9 Tonnes)

So, today’s brainache and you’ve heard it a million times already from me, correlate and explain these two things.
(the picture and the link)

My explanation is that ’emissions’ are not causing the CO2 to rise.
What is happening is that we are (increasingly) putting the brakes on the natural absorption –
If a 3 month long growing season (out of a potential 12) as seen in the image doesn’t tell anyone anything……then that’s it = curtains for Planet Earth and everything
These muppets are now so badly deranged they are going to destroy everything.

The insane war on bovine cows exemplifies perfectly.
Cows, when properly managed on perennially green fields (are NOT force-fed machine harvested forage), are incredible Carbon Sinkers.

But no, the cows are to be slaughtered and replaced by fields growing nothing but sugar – and it is those fields that are = the 3 month growing season.

Or in the case of Holland right now, cheap, toxic and nasty little boxes made of ticky-tacky surrounded by solar panels.

Annual CO2 Cycle.PNG
May 3, 2023 6:50 am

Good article. Good discussion.
To understand the issue better, please add: The “global temperature” reduced (delayed?) from CO2 capture.
eg “Degrees / total cost.”

Expenditures on “green” take out of the productive economy base, eliminating more important issues.
So, the cost of attempts to change climate is reduced growth or no growth in livlihoods and opportunities.
So given the effects of expenditures in CO2 capture for the cost, should we make it a priority?

Doesn’t seem a priority for US or world.
Except for those sticky fingers the 1000’s of $Billions touch.

More Soylent Green!
May 3, 2023 7:06 am

Is any climate change measure practical? These so-called solutions (to imaginary problems) are dreamed up by the if you believe it, you can make it happen crowd. While that’s very motivational, it can’t change the laws of chemistry, physics or change economic reality.

Reply to  More Soylent Green!
May 3, 2023 7:53 am

For some, imaginary reality can be very profitable if they make other people live in it.

Reply to  More Soylent Green!
May 3, 2023 8:51 pm

I’m pretty sure that if we all wish hard enough, Tinkerbell will come back.

May 3, 2023 7:42 am

Capture? Like the lake in Africa where naturally captured CO2 suddenly released and killed over 1700 people and 3500 cattle through suffocation? I wonder how many people know high concentraton of CO2 can displace the oxygen we breath?

May 3, 2023 7:46 am

It is physically impossible for any amount of human carbon capture to lower global atmospheric concentrations of CO2. Nature has it’s very effective carbon capture system in cold rain and cold open polar waters. The within year variations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the Arctic is strong evidence that this is true. Simply averaging 13 months concentrations removes the within year variations. The observed year-to-year changes in average concentrations is the result of changes in natural emission rates in emission zones and is not year-to-year accumulations.

Reply to  Fred H Haynie
May 3, 2023 1:54 pm

not year-to-year accumulations
The data shows atmospheric concentration growing year to year. What evidence supports a claim that this is due to “changes in natural emission rates”?

George B
May 3, 2023 7:53 am

I am waiting EPA to restrict CO2 emissions on breweries.
I guess each beer drinker will need to have a personal CO2 monitor to sniff each beer upon opening. The monitor will self report your personal CO2 consumption to the EPA.
That way they can limit the amount of beer one drinks.
The new slogan will be “Saving the Planet one beer at a time!

Reply to  George B
May 3, 2023 1:56 pm

Or the breweries will be required to sell less beer or flat beet.

Dave Andrews
May 3, 2023 8:29 am

According to the IEA ‘Tracking Report on CO2 Capture and Utilisation’ (Sept 2022)

Around 230million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 are used each year the vast majority by the fertiliser industry for urea production (c. 130Mt) and the oil industry for enhanced recovery of oil (c. 80Mt)

They say “Dedicated storage should remain the primary focus of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) deployment”. In their Net Zero Scenario over 95% of CO2 captured in 2030 is geologically stored and less than 5% used.

“With a retention time of millions of years building aggregates are the only CO2 use application that could qualify as permanent sequestration. In contrast fuels and chemicals typically retain the CO2 for one year and up to ten years respectively”

Last edited 28 days ago by Dave Andrews
May 3, 2023 9:07 am

From the Swiss company’s website, the company who touts its carbon capture facility in Iceland, I took a reference snippet (DACCS stands for direct carbon carbon capture and storage): ‘DACCS deployment levels for meeting a 2 °C or stricter climate target by 2100 can reach up to 40 Gt of annual CO2 sequestration16,17,18,20. At this scale, DACCS (assuming a solvent-based process) could consume up to 12% and 60% global electric and non-electric energy by 210017,21
One needs to picture huge fans and their energy input. They dissipate this energy by simply heating up the air, since nothing else require energy input to any significant amount, like CO2 gas compression and transport. Hence, we warm the globe to the tune of 12% and 60% of electric and non-electric energy. That’s, according to stated theory, all non-fossil fuel and ‘renewable’ energy, the one we don’t have enough of and never will.
A grandiose folly!

May 3, 2023 9:41 am

I read this somewhere. The carbon captured will be used to make carbon neutral fuel for use in aircraft and other applications where the use of fossil fuels is necessary. This will be acceptable when CO2 emissions have been reduced to a sustainable level. With this plan selling the fuel will pay for the capture.

Interested Bystander
May 3, 2023 10:01 am

Here’s an idea. Use all that captured CO2 to make dry ice. Then truck all that dry ice to the north pole and voila, global cooling. Chill the arctic down to dry ice temps and cool the whole planet. Heh!

Beta Blocker
May 3, 2023 10:46 am

AGW is Not Science: “Didn’t we already go through this?! The EPA does NOT have the authority to regulate dispatcheable energy out of existence, since Congress did not explicitly grant the agency such power. Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” is like Dracula risen from the grave, again.

The most powerful regulatory pathway the EPA could use to legally regulate coal-fired and gas-fired power plants out of existence would be to categorize CO2 as a criteria pollutant under sections 108 and 110 of the Clean Air Act.

2022’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) contains language in several places which labels carbon dioxide and other carbon GHG’s as pollutants. The inclusion of this language in the IRA is clearly intended to give the EPA a basis for claiming that there is Congressional intent to authorize direct regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

The question now becomes, what kinds of regulatory mechanisms will be used by the EPA in directly regulating carbon emissions from power plants?

Carbon GHG’s as Criteria Pollutants

The environmental law community has long advocated for the classification of carbon dioxide and other carbon GHG’s as ‘criteria pollutants’ under sections 108 and 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The EPA has authority under the Clean Air Act to add new criteria pollutants to the original list established fifty years ago. This can be done by first publishing a Section 108 Endangerment Finding for carbon and then by establishing a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for carbon GHG’s.

A Section 202 finding for carbon was published in 2009 and has been successfully defended in the courts. The existing Section 202 finding could be quickly and easily adapted for use as a Section 108 finding.

Classifying carbon GHG’s as criteria pollutants would enable the use of a variety of regulatory tools for directly suppressing the emission of carbon GHG’s. Which is why the environmental law community has been such an ardent advocate for adopting this approach.

Should the Courts be Resolving Basic Questions of Science?

If the EPA classifies carbon GHG’s as criteria pollutants and publishes new regulations to control those ‘pollutants’, court challenges to the new regulations will force the courts to decide whether or not to examine the science behind the Section 108 endangerment finding, as well as to examine the process that the EPA used in developing the finding.

Determining the truth of a scientific question is not something the courts like to do. Courts historically have left it to the regulatory agencies to determine the truth of a scientific claim.

Because the courts have already upheld the Section 202 endangerment finding for carbon published more than a decade ago, the courts would likely uphold a Section 108 endangerment finding.

Best Technology for Controlling Carbon GHG’s as Criteria Pollutants

The original Clean Air Act from fifty years ago promoted a policy of using the best available technology for controlling emissions of pollutants, but while also being cognizant of the costs. 

The regulatory processes originally enabled by the Clean Air Act for criteria pollutants attempted to strike a rational balance between the benefits and the costs of pollution abatement. 

Pushing carbon capture and storage as the best available technology for carbon pollution abatement, even with its many issues, is a policy which best fits under a Section 108 / Section 110 type of regulatory approach. 

So another question arises. What is the EPA’s true motivation in pushing CCS? What role does CCS play in the EPA’s broader anti-carbon strategic plan?

In using a criteria pollutant type of anti-carbon strategy, the EPA might choose to claim that carbon capture and storage, even with all of its problems, is still the best currently available technology for controlling carbon emissions from power plants. 

Is this an honest position? 

Probably not. That CCS doesn’t work very well and is horrifically expensive at scale is very likely a feature of the EPA’s anti-carbon strategy, not a bug.

The very fact that legacy coal-fired and gas-fired power generation is under intense regulatory attack makes it financially imprudent either to build new gas-fired capacity or to upgrade legacy capacity in response to increases in power demand.

If through a process of asset churn, the power utilities can make a profit on every windmill, every solar panel, every battery, and every mile of new transmission line they install, then that’s the route they probably will go.

Clean Power Plan 2.0

What if the Biden Administration decides against using a Section 108 / Section 110 approach and does not choose to classify carbon GHG’s as criteria pollutants?

Suppose they attempt to use other sections of the Clean Air Act in suppressing America’s carbon emissions? Such an approach would be, in its practical effect, Clean Power Plan 2.0.

Why would the Biden Administration go that route?

The strategy underpinning that kind of alternative approach — i.e., not to identify carbon GHG’s as criteria pollutants, but to use other sections of the Clean Air Act — would be to place immediate pressure on the power generation industry not to build more gas-fired power plants and not to upgrade legacy plants for purposes of meeting increases in power demand.

Clean Power Plan 2.0 would spawn a very long and very expensive battle of lawfare legal combat in the courts. This is a feature of a CPP 2.0 approach, not a bug.

The legal battles spawned by CPP 2.0 would act as a manpower sink in keeping lots of well-paid lawyers and consultants on both sides of the issue very busy, while at the same time making it very imprudent to build new gas-fired capacity or to upgrade legacy capacity in response to increases in power demand.

The Major Questions Doctrine

Suppose that the issue eventually ends up in the US Supreme Court and the court rules against the EPA citing the Major Questions Doctrine.

The Biden Administration has said explicitly and unequivocally that it will ignore any decisions handed down in the courts which are adverse to its climate change agenda.

Unless the Biden Administration is voted out of office in 2024 — something I view personally as being highly unlikely — then the EPA will have its way one way or another.

Last edited 28 days ago by Beta Blocker
May 3, 2023 11:24 am

It does not take a genius as a person with high school science can figure out that CO2 weighs over 3-1/2 times as much and would take up almost 4 times the volume of the Carbon that was sequestered. That means that the hole that was made to get coal for a coal fired power plant will be filled back up at least three times. the mile long train of coal that supplied that coal would Practical Impossibility of Large-Scale Carbon Capture and Storageneed to be 3.7 times as long if and only if compressed to its minimum achievable solid state. If injecting the CO2 in a gaseous state would easily be 6 to ten times the volume of the burnt Coal. Even a NG plant is going to produce a larger volume of waste than the NG that was burned. Thus, the sequestered CO2 would not even fit back into the well it was extracted from.

Thus as the title says a “Practical Impossibility of Large-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage”
Worse over 15% of the energy obtained from burning FF is going to be wasted just to compress or solidify it into a transportable medium then another 10 -15 percent for transportation and another 10 -15 percent to dispose it in a permanent manner.

Thus the main objective is to Eliminate Fossil Fuel.

Last edited 28 days ago by usurbrain
May 3, 2023 2:38 pm

Simple solution:
Genetically modify humans so they absorb CO2 through their skins and use it to produce energy through photosynthesis.
Farming will become obsolete in line with EU diktats.
”You’ll be green, but you’ll be happy.”

Reply to  PatFromVic
May 4, 2023 9:08 am

It would be easy with purple photosynthesis.

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