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DOE: Carbon Capture Could Reduce Colstrip Emissions By 30-45 Percent

A pile of coal.
Flickr user oatsy40 (CC-BY-2)
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U.S. Department of Energy officials held a briefing with the governor August 31, 2016 on options for carbon capture in expanding the future of Colstrip’s coal-fired plant.";

U.S. Department of Energy officials held a briefing with the governor today on options for carbon capture in ensuring the future of Colstrip’s coal-fired plant.

Fossil fuels, including coal, are going to play an important role generating electricity for Montana and the rest of the nation for decades to come, according to U.S. Department of Energy officials.

But David Foster with the DOE says a big part of that future is using what is called CCUS, or carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

"On a global basis, the modeling on carbon reductions is quite convincing. Without CCUS it simply may not be possible to keep global warming below 2 degrees centigrade and it will certainly be more expensive."

During several DOE presentations over two hours, officials said carbon capture is an expensive process, but added that new research and tax incentives are available to get projects up and running.

DOE officials said a carbon capture project in Colstrip could reduce C02 emission by 30-45 percent a day.

Governor Steve Bullock says he will consider putting together a working group to discuss project options.

Two of Colstrip's four units will shut down by 2022 due to a legal settlement with environmental groups. The two newer, cleaner-burning units will remain open.

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