Can Kemper become the first US power plant to use ‘clean coal’?

Editor’s Note: The key sentenance in the article is: “The company has received some $700m in federal grants and tax credits, and has been authorised to recover at least $2.8bn of Kemper’s costs by increasing utility rates – in one of the poorest areas of the country.”

From: The Guardian

A $5bn facility to capture carbon and pump it underground could provide a lifeline for the dirtiest of fossil fuels, but many remain unconvinced

in Kemper county, Mississippi

The massive block of steel towers and pipes rises out of the morning fog like a sci-fi fantasy. But this coal-fired power plant could help save the climate, or at least that’s the hope of the Obama administration.

The plant in east-central Mississippi was repeatedly invoked by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to justify sweeping new climate change rules. When it comes online later this year, Kemper will be the first power plant in the US capable of capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions.

The EPA says the Kemper County Energy Facility offers a real-life example that it is possible to go on burning the dirtiest of fossil fuels and still make the cuts in carbon dioxide emissions needed to avoid a climate catastrophe.

But with staggering costs – $5bn (£3bn) and rising – and pushback from industry and environmental groups who say carbon capture is an unproven technology, now even the company that built Kemper is having second thoughts about the future of “clean coal”.

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The company has received some $700m in federal grants and tax credits, and has been authorised to recover at least $2.8bn of Kemper’s costs by increasing utility rates – in one of the poorest areas of the country.

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