With the Environmental Protection Agency exploring policy options related to carbon capture and sequestration, Bracewell Policy Resolution Group’s Frank Maisano and Scott Segal discuss with POLITICO the current progress of the energy transition and the hurdles the EPA faces in passing any CCS rules.
“It doesn’t hit home to a driver or a homeowner as much as a gas stove or an electric car does,” said Maisano on utilities undergoing energy transition. “I suspect most people don’t know they’re already getting a lot of renewable power because the sector has transitioned much faster than expected.”
For these utilities, forthcoming investments and incentives from the federal government may mean carbon capture could one day be an effective way to reduce power plants’ impact on greenhouse gas emissions. But the big question is whether they can do that right now.
With only two commercial-scale coal-fired power plants in North America having installed carbon capture technologies, Segal said the technology currently flunks the Clean Air Act’s “adequately demonstrated” test.
The EPA’s requirement of industries investing in this new type of pollution control has benefits but it may take time to allow industry to figure out how to install these control technologies better and cheaper.