Industries Band Together To Gobble Up Taxpayer Dollars For ‘Clean Coal’ Tech

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Several interest groups and energy lobbyist are exerting pressure on lawmakers to double down on legislation designed to prop up so-called clean-coal technology.

Nearly 50 signed on with a coalition pushing new technology scientists believe helps reduce the threat greenhouse-gas emissions pose on climate change. Some group members are in the process of developing carbon-capture technology.

“The launch of the Carbon Capture Coalition is an effort to recognize the broad and growing base of support for carbon capture that extends beyond electric power and fossil fuels,” Great Plains Institute (a nonprofit energy group aiding the coalition) vice president Brad Crabtree told Axios reporters Friday.

The Carbon Capture Coalition is a rehashed and slightly updated version of the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative — a 2017 coalition that focused on capturing carbon explicitly to extract oil from older wells. Previous legislation sought to use taxpayer dollars to prop up clean coal.

They’re hoping to broaden the goal to include pushing for other ways to use captured emissions. Green-energy companies and clean-coal organizations are especially interested in the new coalition, but one influential environmentalist group is leaving out of concern it would indirectly prop up the fossil-fuel industry.

“We will continue to work to advance the use of carbon capture and storage in ways that help reduce carbon pollution, increase clean energy jobs, and phase out our reliance on fossil fuels …,” Natural Resources Defense Council government-affairs director Ana Unruh said in an interview.

The Defense Council’s decision to bail from the coalition opens a deepening divide among liberal activists on the future American energy-production issue. Democrats are splintered on the issue — some (e.g., Sen. Bernie Sanders) want all fossil fuels eliminated, while others are supportive of natural gas and nuclear energy.

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