Thursday, December 27, 2007

Va. coalfield congressman predicts greenhouse-gas limits, coupled with carbon-capture funding

The Democratic congressman for southwest Virginia, which includes part of the Appalachian coalfield, is telling local newspapers that Congress is "virtually certain" to enact limits on greenhouse gases in the next three years, and he will be part of the effort.

"Ninth District U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher has announced his intention to author legislation that will both mandate the reduction of greenhouse gases and ensure a viable coal economy for years to come," reports Keith Strange of The Coalfield Progress in Norton. Boucher told the weekly newspaper, "My goal is to have a meaningful control on greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time enabling a growth in the use of coal."

"While some people may consider the two goals mutually exclusive," Strange writes, "the congressman said new technology could make coal mining much more environmentally friendly. ... The technology, commonly referred to as “carbon capture,” is not currently commercially feasible, but Boucher said he plans to put the strength of the federal government behind research into the process," which would funnel carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants into underground rock formations or other reservoirs. (Read more)

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