Today’s issue of the Capitol Hill newspaper Politico had a story about how environmental groups feel about carbon capture and other ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Obviously there is some diversity of thought on this topic among national environmental groups. The story says the National Resource Defense Council is widely supporting carbon-capture technology. Environmental Defense and Environment America both say they would consider supporting carbon-capture technology.
But the Politico points out that Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth oppose carbon-capture technology because it is too expensive.
First of all, experts agree that generating electricity in 2025 using carbon-capture technology will be equal to the today’s cost of new power generation without carbon capture. (Here’s more information about that finding.)
Second of all, what’s the alternative? For the life of me, I can’t see how any of these groups can say that we’ll be able to meet growing
energy demand (both here at home and moreover around the world) without the continued use of traditional energy resources like coal. I’ve been accused of being too optimistic by some of these groups about the future promise of advanced clean coal technologies … but they just want
us to believe that renewable power is available to replace coal and other carbon-based fuels at a moment’s notice. Sorry, if that were true, we have more renewables already. (Let me be clear – that is not a slam on renewables, they are an important part of the mix. We just have to be realistic about their limitations.)
Not supporting increased funding for carbon capture technologies clearly seems contrary to the agenda of some of these groups (if indeed their ultimate goal is to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gases on a global scale).