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Title: Federal Control of Geological Carbon Sequestration
Authors: Reitze, Arnold W. Jr.
Issue Date: Apr-2011
Type: Report
Pages: 101
Abstract: The United States has economically recoverable coal reserves of about 261 billion tons, which is in excess of a 250-year supply based on 2009 consumption rates. However, in the near future the use of coal may be legally restricted because of concerns over the effects of its combustion on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. In response, the U.S. Department of Energy is making significant efforts to help develop and implement a commercial scale program of geologic carbon sequestration that involves capturing and storing carbon dioxide emitted from coal-burning electric power plants in deep underground formations. This article explores the technical and legal problems that must be resolved in order to have a viable carbon sequestration program. It covers the responsibilities of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Interior. It discusses the use of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other applicable federal laws. Finally, it discusses the provisions related to carbon sequestration that have been included in the major bills dealing with climate change that Congress has been considering in 2009 and 2010. The article concludes that the many legal issues that exist can be resolved, but whether carbon sequestration becomes a commercial reality will depend on reducing its costs or by imposing legal requirements on fossil-fired power plants that result in the costs of carbon emissions increasing to the point that carbon sequestration becomes a feasible option.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/11058
Appears in Collections:ICSE Management

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