Date registered: Dec 2003
Vehicle: 94 E500, 97 500SL
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Can't please everyone
Activist groups protest new 'clean-coal' practice of carbon sequestration
Knoxville News-Sentinel, The
Calling carbon storage technology too expensive and a hollow answer to the environmental issues surrounding coal as an energy source, two local environmental groups on Monday protested federal legislation they say encourages development of coal-based power production.
Save Our Cumberland Mountains, a state citizens organization, and Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville, a group based at the University of Tennessee, held a press conference in Knoxville's Market Square, beneath the Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters towers, to protest what they called a "$424 billion federal boondoggle to promote the continued use of coal to produce electricity," according to a release.
The groups cited a study, "False Hope: Why Carbon Capture and Storage Won't Save the Climate," released Monday by the international environmental group Greenpeace, criticizing measures included in a climate bill introduced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John Warner that would provide incentives for development of clean-coal technologies such as carbon sequestration. This technology would pipe carbon dioxide generated by coal-fired steam plants deep into the ground to prevent the greenhouse gas from being released into the air. Carbon dioxide is believed to be one of the main contributors to global warming.
Carrying banners reading, "Out of sight, out of mind is not always true" and "Carbon capture and storage does not make coal clean," local group leaders said funds aimed at encouraging clean-coal production and electricity generation should be focused instead on developing better renewable- fuel generation technologies such as wind and solar.
"Our position is we need to start phasing out coal as soon as possible," said Cathie Bird, chair of the Save Our Cumberland Mountain, or SOCM, strip mining committee.
"Why be putting money into a fossil fuel that's going to be running its course anyway?" added Ann League, also with SOCM.
League said in addition to the environmental effects of mining coal - and strip mining in particular, which blasts away mountaintops to remove the coal inside - the communities in their shadow do not benefit economically from the operations and are often left in a depressed state when the mines are closed.
"Sustainable jobs" helping to produce renewable generation technologies would better serve these "coalfield communities," she said.
According to the Greenpeace report, carbon storage technology would require 10 percent to 40 percent of the power produced by a station to operate, will not be viable until at least 2030, cannot be guaranteed as a safe and permanent storage solution and is expensive, potentially leading to a 21 percent to 91 percent increase in the price of power for consumers.
TVA generates just over 60 percent of its power from coal, with the balance coming from nuclear, hydro and wind sources, according to spokesman John Moulton.
He said the agency has no current plans to roll out carbon capture and storage technologies at its coal-fired plants.
"The primary reason is that there's really no technology that exists today that would be economical for a utility to capture carbon," he said. However, he said, TVA is a member of both the Electric Power Research Institute and the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, which are examining workable technologies for carbon sequestration.
Today's event was to have been held at the plaza between TVA's office towers, but TVA police asked protestors to move to city property, an agency policy, said Moulton.