Obama Highlights Carbon Storage, Northwest Researchers Hope For More Funding

Jun 27, 2013

One of the less-talked-about points in President Barack Obama’s climate change plan is capturing and storing carbon before it’s released from power plants. Research is taking place in the Northwest to keep carbon out of the atmosphere by injecting it permanently underground.For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Northwest researchers say capturing and storing greenhouse gases could be a major way cut back on CO² emissions.

President Barack Obama highlighted the technology in his climate action plan. A group studying carbon capture and storage says we need to store more than a trillion tons of CO² by 2050. Right now we will notreach that deadline.

Tom Brouns heads up fossil fuel research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. He says the president’s directive could create an interest in research to:

Brouns: "Drive the carbon capture costs down and prove that we can safely, permanently store CO² in the subsurface.”

Brouns hopes to see more federal dollars for researching ways to capture and store carbon.

In the Northwest, scientists are studying ways to store carbon in thick basalt layers, which are well-suited for storing carbon. It’s one of many places around the world where scientists are testing the technology.

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