State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


How, what, & where CCS on 4/21

Okay, so you agree that CCS is part of a balanced climate stabilization portfolio. (Right? If not, sorry – I’ve been meaning to write that post for awhile.) Now what? How do we possibly store all of that gas safely, permanently, and legally?

Researchers at Columbia specialize in a very safe permanent option called mineral sequestration, but this technology is still too expensive. As a result, most CCS demo plants are exploring geologic sequestration, which is cheaper and has been partially demonstrated by oil companies for productive (rather than CO2) purposes. Injecting CO2 into a well makes it easier to remove the oil by displacing the liquid with a gas. CCS adds two new twists: How can we make sure that CO2 stays in the underground storage space (which may be a depleted oil well or a saline aquifer)? And what to do about the legal liability, just in case the CO2 doesn’t stay put?

On April 21, the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy is co-sponsoring, with the NY Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSERDA, a one-day forum to discuss policy implications of CCS. What regulations are necessary to ensure safe geologic sequestration? And of course, what regulations will assure investors that CCS is a safe investment as well?  There is presently a CCS demo plant in Jamestown, New York under consideration.  This will provide an interesting real-world case study for the discussion.

Register now!  And email me ( if you have any questions.  The complete agenda is below:

Developing New York’s Legal and Regulatory

Framework for Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Columbia University

April 21, 2009

9:30 a.m. Check-in

Lerner Hall (Room 555) at 2920 Broadway at 116th Street

10 a.m. Welcome

Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner for Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy

10:15 a.m. CCS as a Core Element of a Global Climate Strategy

Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Quetelet Professor, Sustainable Development; Professor, Health Policy and Management

10:45 a.m. Overview of CCS: Capture, Transport, and Injection

Dr. Klaus Lackner, Maurice Ewing and J. Lamar Worzel Professor of Geophysics, Columbia University; Director, Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy

11:15 a.m. CCS and New York’s Energy Plan

Paul DeCotis, New York State Deputy Secretary for Energy

11:30a.m. Panel Discussion (all speakers, J. Snyder moderating)

12:00 p.m. Jamestown Oxy-fuel Plant

David Leathers, General Manager, Jamestown Board of Public Utilities

12:15 p.m. Carbon Sequestration Potential in New York State

Dr. Robert Singer, Principal Project Manager, Ecology and Environment, Inc.

12:30 p.m. Lunch

1:45 p.m. Current Regulatory Landscape for CCS and Statutory Models

David Streicker, Senior Counsel, Holland & Knight, LLP

2:15 p.m. Legal and Regulatory Needs: Environmental Protection

Dr. John Norton, Senior Engineer – Strategic Consulting Practice, MWH Americas, Inc

2:45 p.m. Avoiding Disproportionate Impacts of CCS

Stephanie Tyree, Sustainable Policy Coordinator, WE ACT for Environmental Justice

3:00 p.m. Legal and Regulatory Needs: Property Rights & Stewardship

Michael Gerrard, Director, Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia University

3:30 p.m. Policy Needs to Support CCS

Chris Hunter, Vice President, Climate Change Capital

4:00 p.m. Panel Discussion (all speakers, J. Snyder moderating)

4:30 p.m. Adjourn

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
CCS Realist
CCS Realist
15 years ago

Scientists and many in the media keep looking for a silver bullet that will allow us to save the world and continue with business as usual. CCS is one of these silver bullets. From destructive and invasive mining and extraction techniques, to dirty emissions, to waste products like coal ash- there is nothing clean about coal. CCS is a complex solution where simpler solutions present themselves. Use less, conserve more and take advantage of readily available renewable technologies to make up for what we can’t do through efficiency and smarter consumption.

15 years ago

One thing many Americans don’t realize is how important domestic energy is to our country’s economic recovery and overall security. Currently, half of our electricity comes from coal—which happens to be our most abundant fuel resource. In fact, we recently kicked off the America’s Power Factuality Tour—a country-wide road trip in search of the people, places and technologies involved in producing cleaner, domestic electricity from coal. We started in Wright, Wyo., at the Powder River Basin, which produces more coal than any other site in the U.S. Take the tour for yourself and see our most abundant domestic fuel at work.

15 years ago

Very good article, very usefull!!