Target: Rick Perry, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Goal: Divert funding from investments in carbon capture technology to support renewable energy development.
As climate change deniers flood the Trump administration, one point of compromise they are willing to make with those who accept science is the use of “carbon capture” technology in fossil fuel-powered power plants. As nice as that sounds, simply capturing carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired plants does not resolve the multitudinous issues which surround fossil fuel use. Though they refuse to accept climate change, Republicans have latched onto the prospect of carbon capture, lauding it and planning to plow billions more into the technology, while systematically cutting funding for renewable energy projects. Capturing carbon from power plants will not make the extraction, refining, or transportation of fossil fuels cleaner, make the resources any less finite, or even prove to reduce carbon emissions, but it will harm the emerging renewable energy market that offers real solutions to our climate challenges.
Carbon capture technology works by capturing emissions from power plants, purifying the carbon dioxide, and liquefying it to be used in a process called “enhanced oil recovery,” which extracts more oil from old fields. This extra oil recovery is what makes carbon capture worthwhile to investors, as the U.S. does not have a national cost on carbon emissions. However, the technology still requires plenty of government aid, a topic usually anathema to conservatives, and plants like the Kemper County energy facility have proven to be far more expensive than first thought at over $7 billion.
For all this cost, there is no certainty that carbon capture will actually keep carbon out of the atmosphere, as the emissions could still leak out from underground. For all these reasons, carbon capture should be considered an investment unworthy of taxpayer dollars, which should instead go to supporting renewable energy. Sign this petition to tell the U.S. Secretary of Energy to put an end to government support of carbon capture, and instead use funds to spread the renewable energy revolution across the country so more people can benefit from its sustainable promise.
Dear Secretary Perry,
In recent weeks, the Trump administration has shown its support for carbon capture technology in fossil fuel power plants, despite denying the facts of anthropogenic climate change. Unlike climate change, however, capturing carbon is unproven, and it has cost billions in taxpayers support. Furthermore, this technology cannot solve the many other issues associated with fossil fuels, like the earthquakes, ecological pollution, and health and safety risks posed by their extraction, refining, and transportation. For these reasons, I urge you to put an end to federal support for carbon capture, and instead use those funds to help renewable energy like wind, solar, and geothermal to bring more truly clean energy to our towns and cities.
Carbon capture and sequestration are made profitable by selling “supercritical” carbon to be used for “enhanced oil recovery,” meaning that the carbon emissions are being used to make more carbon emissions. It is further propped up by billions from taxpayers, with one facility in Mississippi costing over $7 billion. Furthermore, this technology is not even proven to work, since carbon could escape from underground at a later time. If you and your conservative colleagues really are concerned about carbon emissions, you will stop supporting the use of fossil fuels and instead use precious taxpayer dollars to support renewable energy production to bring so much more benefit to U.S. citizens and the world.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ramsey Martin