Not Toeing The Line: Obama Official Testifies Against EPA Claims Concerning The Coal Industry

Published on October 29, 2013

Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller

A former Obama official is undercutting a key aspect of his former employer’s  plan to tackle global  warming by arguing  that carbon capture and sequestration technology, or CCS, is not commercially  viable for industry-wide use by coal-fired power plants.

“[I]t is disingenuous to state that the technology is ‘ready,’” said Charles  McConnell, who was the assistant secretary of energy until January. He was  appointed by President Barack Obama and now serves as the executive director of  the Energy & Environment Initiative at Rice University.

The EPA has mandated that new coal-fired power plants use CCS technology to lower  carbon dioxide emissions. The agency and environmental groups says the  technology is ready for commercial use. However, testimony in front of the House science  committee on Tuesday by the former Obama administration official undercuts the  EPA’s argument.

“Studies have verified that implementation of [CSS] technology is necessary  to comply with EPA’s proposed [EPA carbon-emissions limits] regulation and  meet the [greenhouse gas] targets necessary for limiting CO2 emissions to our  atmosphere,” McConnell said in his prepared congressional testimony.

“However,  commercial [CSS] technology currently is not available to meet EPA’s proposed  rule. The cost of current  CO2 capture technology is much too high to be commercially viable.”

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