The Obama administration’s potentially pathbreaking proposal for carbon emission limits on new power plants will face political and legal challenges from opponents who argue that the technology needed has not been close to being proven as the law requires.New York Times
Here's more evidence that the technology needed has not been close to being proven as the law requires:
Norway dropped plans for a full-scale carbon capture plant at its Mongstad refinery after cost overruns and delays, ending a project that was dubbed as the country’s “moon landing” by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
The full-scale project will be halted, Oil and Energy Ministry Ola Borten Moe said today at a briefing in Oslo. The government will increase spending on a carbon test center at the plant by 400 million kroner ($68 million) and will seek to build a full-scale plant in another location, he said.
“I fear that Mongstad would have been a project where we demonstrated that we’re willing to spend a lot of money on one project -- not that this is an example to follow for the rest of the world,” he said.
Stoltenberg, who has likened the project to the U.S. effort in the 1960s of putting a man on the moon, said in 2006 it would create the world’s biggest venture for full-scale carbon capture and spur technology that may become an important export for Norway. The premier’s coalition was ousted in the Sept. 9 general election and he will resign next month.
“This is some of the worst form of incompetence I’ve seen from the government,” Frederic Hauge, head of environmental group Bellona, said in an interview. “This will stand as the symbol of this government’s total failure on climate policy.”
The effort was criticized this week by the nation’s Auditor General, which said the test center project was 1.7 billion kroner over budget, according to a statement on Sept. 17. In total, the government said it has spent about 7.2 billion kroner on carbon capture, including 1.2 billion kroner on the full scale project.
“The investigation shows that the complexity of implementing CCS was underestimated in 2006,” the auditor said. “Among other things, it has proven very difficult to plan and build capture facilities on a large scale near a refinery and heat and power plant in operation. This has entailed high costs and a longer implementation period.”
The center was part of a Statoil ASA (STL) project to build a power plant at its Mongstad refinery, approved by the government in 2006. The company was given permission to emit carbon dioxide from the plant between 2010 and 2014, when a full-scale carbon capture and storage system had to be in place.
Utilities and energy companies are seeking ways to extract carbon dioxide from emissions and store it underground rather than release it into the air. Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil producer, has wanted to lead the way in such methods.
The project has been dogged by delays. Then Oil and Energy Minister Terje Riis-Johansen also in 2010 fended off a vote of no confidence as the country’s four opposition parties said the government withheld information that the project was delayed until after the September 2009 election.
But Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Senate's top environmental committee, slammed the EPA for setting a standard that the rest of the world – most notably China – has no plan to meet.
'Today's proposal maintains EPA's pie in the sky standard-setting mentality,' Vitter said, 'despite the Agency's admittance that unilateral regulations would have no impact on global emissions levels.'
'EPA completely ignores other nations' missteps, and the severe negative impacts from trying to address carbon emissions. Their actions have resulted in economic uncertainty, job loss, and increased electricity prices, yet the Agency continues to barrel on – full speed ahead.'
Vitter cited energy price hikes in Great Britain that have led some retirees to buy cheap books to fuel their stoves, and the new Australian prime minister's decision to shut down his nation's climate-change commission.
Aussie PM Tony Abbott once called evidence blaming mankind for global warming 'absolute crap.' This week he ordered his deputies to prepare 'carbon tax repeal legislation.'