Friday, July 25, 2008

Western Climate Initiative

The Western Climate Initiative, a coalition of governors of 7 western states, including Arizona, yesterday released a draft plan for a regional CO2 cap and trade program. Under this plan, companies that achieve clean emissions could sell credits to companies that can't cut their emissions because of technical or cost challenges.

Another piece of the climate change challenge is geologic sequestration of CO2. Just a few years ago, it was generally assumed this would be straightforward and easy. But increasingly, there are concerns about the chemistry of putting large amounts of CO2 into the ground, the certainty of long-term storage, and the capacity of geologic units to absorb the volumes of CO2 proposed. Plus, the local geologic conditions near each power plant or other CO2 emitter are turning out to be critical in the success or failure of the current sequestration tests. What works or doesn't work in Illinois or Kentucky may act very differently in Arizona and elsewhere. We have a lot of homework to do in Arizona on sequestration.

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