Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Cost of Clean Air is Too Much?

American Electric Power (AEP) who was chosen several years ago by the Department of Energy to use and test the carbon capture and storage (CCS), has decided that high costs will cause it to stop the project for the foreseeable future. 

Here are a few facts about AEP:
  1. They are the largest supplier of electricity in the nation
  2. They have 80 generating stations in 11 states, serving over 5 million customers
  3. Last year they made $14.4 BILLION dollars in revenue
AEP's John E. Amos power plant, located in West Virginia. 
 It is one of the largest coal burning plants in the world

Here are a few facts about CCS:
  1. The technology enables the capture and storage of 90% of Co2 emissions that come from burning coal
  2. AEP’s Mountaineer plant located in New Haven, W.Va. was testing the technology successfully for 2 years, being the most advanced in the world
  3. By closing this project down it could set back the technology for years
Even with the Clean Coal Power Initiative giving up to $334 million to AEP for funding of the project (that is HALF the cost) the company still decided to put a stop to the program.
An article for the New York Times says that the company is not willing to go forward with the project because they “did not believe state regulators would let the company recover its costs by charging customers, thus leaving it no compelling regulatory or business reason to continue the program.” No compelling regulatory or business reason... How about the idea of helping the planet and those that inhabit it breathe clean air? 

For articles on this topic please click the links below:

AEP Places Carbon Capture Commercialization On Hold, Citing Uncertain Status Of Climate Policy, Weak Economy 

AEP Move to Stop Carbon Capture and Sequestration Project Shocks Utilities, Miners 

Utility Shelves Ambitious Plan to Limit Carbon 

AEP halts carbon capture technology advancement in US

~*~ Julia M. Fletcher

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