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Captive Ready Coal Plant in Earthquake Zone

Researched by Jennifer Donahue

To gain permission to build new coal plants, the coal and electric power industries are now promising the moon: “This new coal plant will be ‘capture-ready.’ Just let us build this plant now and we’ll add a CCS unit onto the back end as soon as CCS technology has matured and is affordable.” In other words, the industry is saying, “Let us build ‘capture-ready’ coal plants now and someday maybe we’ll be able to capture the CO2 and bury it in the ground, where we hope it will remain forever.”

This is precisely the situation at Duke Energy’s ‘capture-ready’ plant being built now at Edwardsport, Indiana. The 630-megawatt Edwardsport plant will emit an estimated 4300 tons of CO2 per year. Therefore, during its 40-year lifetime, the plant will produce 4300 x 40 = 172,000 tons, or 344 million pounds, of CO2.

Duke Energy executives insist that the deep earth beneath Edwardsport is ideal for storing hazardous liquid CO2. At least one major environmental group — the Clean Air Task Force, headquartered in Boston — agrees with them. Edwardsport lies in Knox County in southwestern Indiana. Southwestern Indiana lies atop a geologic feature known as the “Wabash Seismic Zone,” which is currently very active and capable of quakes registering 8 on the Richter scale.

“The Clean Coal Con: Environmental Enron” Peter Montague, Rachel’s Democracy and Health News, 6/ 19/2008  http://www.counterpunch.org/montague06232008.html

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