WASHINGTON, DC - The Department of Energy today announced it will be seeking public comments on the environmental impacts of its Carbon Sequestration Program and has scheduled eight evening meetings in various parts of the country for citizen input.
"DOE's long-term goal is to develop a cost-effective, commercially ready, and environmentally sound portfolio of technology options to reduce greenhouse gases and stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Mark Maddox. "We're offering this series of public meetings as a constructive step toward providing the foundation for future decisions about those options as they relate to future sequestration activities."
Carbon sequestration includes various methods for capturing and permanently isolating carbon dioxide gases that otherwise could contribute to global climate change. Affordable and environmentally safe sequestration approaches could offer a way to stabilize atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide without requiring the United States and other countries to make large-scale and potentially costly changes to their energy infrastructures.
DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program currently includes several efforts:
- The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, an international ministerial-level panel that meets regularly to discuss the growing body of scientific research and emerging technologies and plan joint projects for carbon sequestration.
- Regional Partnerships Program, a nationwide network of federal, state and private sector partnerships to determine the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure for future carbon capture, storage and sequestration in different areas of the country.
- FutureGen - A full-scale sequestration demonstration project announced by President Bush in 2003 that will capture and store carbon emissions, making it the world's first coal-fueled prototype power plant to incorporate carbon sequestration technologies.
- Carbon Sequestration Core R&D Program, a portfolio of technologies that will capture and permanently store greenhouse gases.
The meetings will give interested parties the opportunity to address issues contained in an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Carbon Sequestration Program. Three areas are covered by the EIS: the current state of greenhouse gases and their sources; potential problems resulting from greenhouse gas emissions; and the role of DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program in addressing the problems on both a national and global scale.
Each of the eight meetings will begin at 7 p.m. and will include a series of DOE presentations and an open period for public comments. The sessions will be preceded by an informal, informational open house from 4-7 p.m. The meetings will be held in: Alexandria, Va.; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.; Houston, Texas; Sacramento, Calif.; Atlanta, Ga.; Bozeman, Mont.; and Grand Forks, N.D.
Following public input, DOE plans to complete a draft programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) by summer 2005 and seek follow up input at the same locations. The final PEIS is scheduled for release by spring 2006.
For more details about the meetings, please visit DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory Web site.