Sen. Coleman testifies before Senate Committee about carbon dioxide capture and transport

Continuing his efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, Sen. Norm
Coleman today (Thursday, Jan. 31) testified at a Senate Committee on
Energy and Natural Resources hearing to examine carbon dioxide capture,
transportation and sequestration.

<NEWS RELEASE>

Washington DC-Continuing his efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, Sen. Norm Coleman today (Thursday, Jan. 31) testified at a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing to examine carbon dioxide capture, transportation and sequestration.

Of the two bills that were discussed at the hearing, one was Coleman’s Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Study Act of 2007 (S. 2144), which will direct federal agencies with expertise in this area (Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce and Department of Interior) to prepare a report and recommendations to Congress on a number of issues vital to fostering the development of a CO2 pipeline industry.

These federal agencies would then report their recommendations to Congress within 180 days, where their findings would be the basis for Congressional hearings and appropriate legislation. Co-sponsors of Coleman’s bipartisan legislation include, Senators Ken Salazar (D-CO), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), John Thune (R-ND), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Jim Bunning (R-KY) and John Warner (R-VA).

Minimizing the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere is a three step process. First, the carbon dioxide must be captured at the point it is created; for example, at a coal-fired electric generating plant. Then it must be transported from the point of creation to the point of storage. Finally, it must be sequestered and stored in an appropriate geologic formation, such as a depleted underground oil or natural gas reservoir. While considerable progress has been made on the first and third steps, Coleman’s bill begins the process of determining how best to get the CO2 from the point of creation to the point of storage.

Below is the text of Coleman’s testimony:

First, I want to thank Chairman Bingaman and Ranking Member Domenici for holding this important hearing today and inviting me to speak on behalf of the Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Study Act.

When I was a young person I dreamed of being a basketball player like Bob Cousy or Earl The Pearl Monroe. That all ended when a coach told me, “Coleman, you may be small, but you can’t jump.” It’s bad when you have two reinforcing problems.

Our nation has that. We are highly dependent on foreign sources of energy and we produce dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases. How do we solve one problem without exacerbating the other?

This Committee, under your leadership, has boldly moved to address both. You have crafted two landmark pieces of legislation in the past several years: the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. These comprehensive bills address numerous critical energy and environmental challenges facing our nation, and they establish a firm foundation on which to build our nation’s energy future.

I firmly believe that a big part of that future is going to require figuring out how to utilize America’s 250 year supply of coal in an environmentally friendly manner. By taking CO2 produced in coal power plants and piping that CO2 to a location where it can be permanently stored, I believe we can greatly add to the country’s economic and even national security. That’s why I’ve introduced the CO2 Pipeline Study Act, which is another step in this Committee’s efforts to address these issues in an informed and timely manner.

I want to thank a number of Members of this Committee who are original co-sponsors of the CO2 Pipeline Study Act for their leadership: Senators Salazar, Murkowski, Landrieu, Johnson, Martinez and Bunning. Your guidance and assistance were invaluable in drafting this legislation.

The fact is, we have an immense supply of coal available in this country

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