14 April 2010– Peabody Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on April 14 and said coal needs to be part of the climate change solution but only if it involves carbon dioxide (CO2) emission control technology such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
“A strong energy bill that advances CCS is the best way to achieve both our energy and environmental goals,” Boyce said. “Greater deployment of advanced energy technologies including coal with carbon capture and storage would create tremendous economic stimulus, reindustrializing our economic base and putting people to work.”
The amount of coal used for electricity generation in the United States has tripled since 1970, when the first major Clean Air Act was written. Pollutants under the act have been reduced by 84 percent per megawatt-hour.
Using coal will become more important as the world’s population continues to grow every year, Boyce said.
“Today, 3.6 billion people around the world lack adequate access to electricity,” Boyce said. “And by 2030, the world will need the equivalent power of five more Americas to fuel the world’s population growth.”
A 2009 study by the National Coal Council concluded that deployment of coal with CCS would increase U.S. gross domestic product by $2.7 trillion.
Boyce outlined six steps to lower carbon emissions while using more coal:
· Build supercritical combustion plants with improved efficiencies, which in the United States typically have CO2 emissions that are 15 percent below the existing fleet, and more than 40 percent below the oldest of plants being replaced,
· Demonstrate CCS. Statoil’s Sleipner project in the North Sea has been storing 1 million tons of CO2 annually for 15 years,
· Complete large-scale CCS demonstrations,
· Develop coal-to-gas with CCS. One benefit of coal-to-gas technologies is the ability to capture a pure CO2 stream, reducing the ultimate cost of capturing and storing CO2,
· Deploy commercial-scale IGCC technology with CCS, and
· Retrofit the world’s existing fleet of coal plants with CCS technologies to improve emissions.
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