I read today
that environmentalists are divided about carbon capture. While
Greenpeace is going around saying that carbon capture is a "pipe
dream," other environmental advocacy groups are taking a less cynical
The World Wide Fund for Nature, an international group that boasts over
5 million supporters, has come out in support of carbon capture as a
way to use technology to make coal as clean as possible.
On its Web site, the WWF (side note: it’s still hard for me to see that
acronym without thinking of the old World Wrestling Federation… but I
digress) has a report called "Vision for 2050" (click for PDF),
which says the group has questions about carbon capture but that "it is
essential that fossil-fuel plants are equipped with carbon capture and
storage technology as soon as possible – all by 2050." The report
continues: "Clearly, while zero- and low-emission technologies are
being brought to maturity and widely deployed, coal, oil, and gas will
continue to play a part in the energy mix."
Now, keep in mind, WWF isn’t crazy about coal. But they take the
reasonable position that we can’t meet our energy needs (both here in
the U.S. as well as around the world) without coal, so pursuing the
carbon capture option may be necessary to meeting our energy and
Anyway, back to that article I mentioned at the top of this post…
there’s seems to be some interesting divergence of opinions among
environmental groups on this issue. Besides WWF, several national
branches of Friends of the Earth refused to sign the Greenpeace
statement criticizing CCS.
I, for one, am hopeful. We would look forward to working with some of
these groups that believe that investing in the research, development
and deployment of carbon capture technologies is an important part of
our energy and environmental strategy. As I say all the time, some
people are looking for a "silver bullet," but meeting this challenge
will require something more along the line of "silver buckshot."