General Electric and the University of Wyoming have suspended plans for a $100 million project to capture CO2 emissions from a coal-to-gas plant.
The project was somewhat of a joke, however. As reported by Climatewire,
Construction originally was expected to be completed by the end of 2012, with GE and the university each funding half of the $100 million price tag. The center, consuming about 24 tons of daily coal, would have been about a hundredth the size of a commercial system.
So the system would have capture about 25,000 tons of CO2 annually — about 0.000083% of annual manmade global emissions of CO2. Who wouldn’t want to spend $100 million on that?
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead responded to the suspension by stating:
This is a real-world example of the local impact of the federal government’s failure to provide a policy path forward for energy use in America.
But not only is Mead supposed to be a Republican budget-hawk, he also claims to be a skeptic, stating in his 2011 State of the State address:
I am skeptical about man-made global warming without more and better science…
He unfortunately immediately followed up his embrace of skepticism with,
… but I am not skeptical about growing demand by our energy customers for cleaner coal and gas.
Mead’s use of “cleaner” means carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
Confusingly, he’s skeptical about manmade CO2 emissions causing climate change, but he’d still like to bury CO2. But it’s not so confusing when you realize that all Mead really wants is the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer largesse that have, so far, been a possibility for CCS development.
An upside to the ongoing budget crunch, however, is that the possibility of taxpayer money flowing to CCS projects has been greatly diminished.
Perhaps Mead is just doing the smart thing by holding out his hand for his state, but he might do better by simply pushing for all out development of Wyoming’s coal and gas resources. That’s a difference between a RINO and a Republican.