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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Government: Carbon-Friendly Coal Plants 'Viable' in Next 5 years
12 August 2010 6:07 pm
A new report on carbon-capture and storage for coal power plants by the U.S. government says that no "insurmountable" technical or legal barriers exist to deploying CCS in U.S. plants—at least not for the first five or 10 such plants to collect carbon emissions and shove them underground.
That's important because climate scientists say that phasing out carbon emissions from coal is a crucial step toward avoiding the worst effects of coal.
Creating some 10 demonstration plants in the United States by 2016, President Barack Obama's goal, will help solve current technical challenges. These are real but not dealbreakers, the report says. But it finds that there must be a price on carbon to spur this progress. It also points to legal and regulatory obstructions, suggesting that they are more serious than technical limitations. And it offers a detailed to-do list—with a few deadlines—for some dozen agencies. These would pave the way for what would be a giant new industry to capture hundreds of millions of tons of CO 2 from American coal plants and transport and store them in the ground. Rules under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and countless local and state laws will need to be modified.
Prepared hastily after President Obama created an interagency task force in February on the topic, the report largely punts on the issue of liability for stored CO2 underground, one of thorniest issues surrounding the massive new undertaking. On that issue, it says a lot more work is needed. However, it does say that demands for the government to assume all liability for stored CO2 are unnecessary.