Seven States Join U.S. DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that seven new states and 13 organizations have joined the Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnership Program, the centerpiece of national efforts to validate and deploy carbon sequestration technologies.

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnership Program began last year and is a nationwide network of federal, state, and private sector partnerships that have the goal of determining the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure for future carbon capture, storage and sequestration in different areas of the country.

The original partnerships were selected in August 2003 to evaluate and promote the carbon sequestration technologies and infrastructure best suited to their unique regions. With the addition of seven new states and 13 organizations, the partnerships now include leaders from 154 organizations spanning 40 states, three Indian nations, and two Canadian provinces.

Three of the seven regional partnerships added new partners:

Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership -- The states of Virginia and Texas became part of the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership in March, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The state of Texas, already a member of the Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon Sequestration, is now part of two partnerships. The focus of the Southeast Partnership in Texas will be carbon capture and sequestration opportunities in the Gulf Coast area.

The inclusion of Virginia and Texas will provide a broader representation of needs and opportunities within the Southeast Partnership. Virginia will be represented by the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Texas will be represented by the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, an academic-industrial partnership led by the Bureau of Economic Geology at the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin. Numerous academic, coal, power utility, and other organizations are partners with or serve as advisors to the partnership, which is headed by Southern States Energy Board. The major objectives of the partnership are to describe carbon sources, sinks, and transport requirements; to evaluate the lifecycle of storage options; to assess environmental risk; and to develop measuring, monitoring, and verification protocols.

The partnership will develop outreach plans to engage stakeholders and prepare action plans for carbon sequestration implementation in the southeastern U.S.

Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership -- The Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership also expanded with the addition of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. These states join the existing states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, as well as partners from industry and academia. The partnership is led by the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota. Other new members to this partnership are Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.

The newly added states have many similarities to the existing region, including energy sources from coal and gas, common agricultural practices, and adjacent boundaries to expansive geologic formations that could serve as future sinks for CO2. These additional states will be incorporated into the existing assessment of CO2 sources, transportation infrastructure, and terrestrial and geologic CO2 sinks. The partnership will also include an assessment of potential regulatory requirements for carbon sequestration projects in these states and expand their public outreach and education into these areas.

Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership -- Michigan and Maryland have joined Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to expand the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership. In addition, nine organizations have joined the partnership -- Michigan State University, the University of Maryland, Western Michigan University, the Maryland Geologic Survey, AES Warrior Run Power Plant, the Maryland Energy Administration, DTE Energy, Alliance Resources Partners, and Constellation Energy.

The Midwest Partnership, led by Battelle Memorial Institute, will identify greenhouse gas sources in its region and determine the technical feasibility and cost of capturing and sequestering these emissions in deep geologic formations, agricultural forests, and degraded land systems. Existing regulations and policies will be examined to determine if they hinder the cost-effectiveness of CO2 sequestration options, and ways to overcome these barriers will be outlined.

In addition to the three expanded partnerships, the national network includes the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, led by the California Energy Commission; Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon Sequestration, led by the Western Governors' Association and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; Northern Rockies and Great Plains Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, led by Montana State University; and the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, headed by the University of Illinois-Illinois State Geological Survey.
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