The Obama administration now thinks carbon dioxide emissions might actually have productive economic value.
According to the Clean Energy Report:
The Department of Energy (DOE) is changing the focus of its clean-coal research and development program in a significant move that backtracks from a past emphasis on “carbon storage” in favor of creating a market for carbon dioxide in domestic oil production, a senior DOE official said at an Oct. 21 federal coal advisory board meeting in Washington, DC…
The economics for [carbon capture and utilization (CCU)] are potentially better than [carbon capture and storage (CCS)], [a Department of Energy official] said, and DOE will begin leveraging its CCS efforts to create a market for CO2 use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in place of storage.
[The DOE official] told reporters after his presentation to the [National Coal Council] that there are hurdles with CCU just as there are with CCS. The primary hurdle is bringing down the cost of capturing CO2 at fossil fuel power plants in order to sell it at $40 per ton of carbon, rather than the current price of roughly $80-$100 per ton, he said.
We’re not for government meddling in energy (or much else), but at least the switch from CCS to CCU is a move in the correct philosophical direction.