Sen. Dorgan (D-ND): Question isn’t whether we’re going to use coal in the future, it’s how

Droughts are already occurring in my state more frequently.

We ought to be moving much much much more aggressively forward on wind and solar.

In 1916, Congress put in place long-term, permanent tax incentives for finding oil and gas. Wind and solar tax credits are extended very short-term, and often expire … an anemic, weak response.

The production tax credit [for wind] should be extended for a full decade.

I’m going to offer an amendment would respect the coal.

Does anybody think we’re not going to use in the future.

We need to find a way to capture and sequester the CO2 from coal

The question isn’t whether we’re going to use coal in the future, it’s how.

The world’s largest application of carbon storage is in North Dakota.

We need to have a kind of a moonshot approach … commit billions of dollars to the research, science, and development of how we are going to do this.

“Single-cell pond scum called algae” … in Arizona, is being grown in greenhouses next to a coal plant.

“I ate some cookies from this process.” Well, from baking soda made from the CO2 that is captured.

He believes that using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery is the same as geologic sequestration. Alas!

Studying termites that could make hydrogen.

There is no way we solve this problem without solving the problem of how we continue to use coal.

Amendment: Strips money from the back end of this bill (don’t ask me how) to add $20 billion to the $17 billion in the bill for technology, including clean coal.

2 Responses to Sen. Dorgan (D-ND): Question isn’t whether we’re going to use coal in the future, it’s how

  1. Brian Turner says:

    Why is EOR not a form of CCS? I must admit to thinking it is…
    Can you point us to a nice pithy fact sheet on that?

    [JR: This one is easy. Because the EOR releases as much carbon — in the form of newly recovered oil — as it buries. In short, it doesn’t actually reduce net CO2.]

  2. Brian Turner says:

    Thanks for reply, but I think you’re logic is flawed.
    Fact remains, CO2 that could have been released has been stored. The fate of the carbon in the oil that is produced through the process doesn’t change that. That same EOR oil can also be produced with steam, nitrogen, geologically-produced CO2, or other chemicals – processes that don’t store any carbon but still get the oil out of the ground.
    My understanding is that EOR-based CCS will be one of the most-cost-effective and hence earliest forms to be commercialized – generating valuable experience and innovation that will hopefully bring down costs in the medium term.
    Why be negative on it?
    (ps fwiw: i believe the volumetric density of C in CO2 is about 1/4 that of the oil, so it’s not 1-for1)

    [JR: We need to cut fossil fuel consumption 80% in four decades. We don’t need MORE oil, we need less. The kind of massive EOR people are talking about requires cheap CO2. We need to permanently sequester CO2, not use it to generate more oil. And the studies I’ve seen put it at close to one to one. ]