Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership
Press Releases and Articles

Carbon Capture and Storage Technology Could Transform the Use of Coal
October 10, 2007

Senator Dorgan Says DOE Awards $67 Million to Project: North Dakota's EERC Will Lead

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) --- U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said Tuesday the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $67 million to the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership, which is led by the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to continue critical research to unlock the potential of carbon capture and storage. The project could have a major impact on the nation’s energy future, Dorgan said.

Dorgan chairs the U.S. Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, where he has funded research to capture and store carbon emissions, something that if done successfully, could transform the future of coal and other fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burned they release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Finding ways to continue to burn fossil fuels, while reducing carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, is a major challenge for the industry.

On Tuesday, Dorgan said the U.S. Department of Energy has selected the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership, led by the EERC, as one of three large scale carbon sequestration projects to demonstrate new carbon capture and storage technologies. Nine U.S. states and three Canadian provinces are involved in the partnership, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and in Canada, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

"This could revolutionize the role of coal and other fossil fuels in our energy future," Dorgan said, "by making it possible for domestic coal supplies to be used to meet our energy needs for additional centuries without contributing to global climate change. That the technology is now ready for large scale demonstration projects, and that one of the first will be right here in North Dakota, is very significant."

Dorgan said the three demonstration projects, and others that will follow, will demonstrate various carbon injection processes and how different geologic formations can be used to store carbon. On August 13, in Bismarck, Dorgan held a field hearing of his Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee to explore these very questions of carbon capture and storage.

The Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership is providing $68 million of its own money to complete funding for the cost-share project.

On October 29 and 30, the EERC will conduct several workshops on near and long term options for carbon management at the Great Plains Energy Exposition in Bismarck, which Senator Dorgan is co-hosting.

- END -

CONTACT: Barry Piatt or Fran Benton
PHONE: 202-224-2551