Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett - the nation's most vulnerable governor (for good reason) - in an election-year sop to the state's coal industry, has pledged "support, but no money yet, to a Wyoming-led project to develop a test center for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from a coal-fired power plant."
Research is not what is needed to propel CCS/CCUS - an essential technology in the fight against global climate disruption.
Under Corbett's predecessor, Governor Ed Rendell - in an effort that that I led - Pennsylvania staked out global leadership on an approach that can propel CCS deployment. Other nations are adopting that model.
The approach was inspired and uniquely suited to Pennsylvania, with its prominence in science, engineering, technology - and its manufacturing base. With it would have come not only preservation of the state's coal industry and coal-fired power generation, but untold R&D and manufacturing jobs - jobs that can't be outsourced or off-shored.
That pioneering model was consigned to the memory hole with Tom Corbett's inauguration - to the point that the studies that I link to were removed from state government web pages, which is why I had to resort to linking to them as I do.
Governor Corbett's "pledge" misses golden opportunities for Pennsylvania. Real leadership on the development and deployment of CCS technology, combined with wise energy policy, would provide a triple benefit. It would protect - indeed grow - Pennsylvania's economy as carbon emissions are constrained. It would consolidate the state's gains as a natgas producer. And it would - and must - propel a renewable energy future.
Corbett whiffs on all these opportunities. To our state's - and our planet's - peril.