Mankind is always messing with Mother Earth.

Which makes sense, since it's where we get all our stuff.

Why is North Dakota suddenly excited about carbon capture?

I'm going to start with the high road.  We are all excited about capturing carbon because it's the right thing to do for the environment and for future generations to come.  Let's leave it at that.


Make it a habit to start with the high road, but then always expect that road leads to...the money.


Always it's the money.

If it makes money when you break something- well, so it goes.

If it costs money to fix something you broke- than, you should put that off if you can.

Moving forward, it seems North Dakota HAS to start fixing things or we are screwed.

Let me be more specific- COAL is screwed.

For decades only the bravest of souls have had the nerve to utter words like Environmental Protection Agency or carbon dioxide or (God forbid) climate change! North Dakota has a long history of mocking tree huggers.  But now, them tree huggers don't want to buy the energy we produce because it's made from "dirty coal".  That was the issue with Coal Creek providing energy to Minnesota.  Groups are raising their standards as to the carbon footprint origin of the energy they use.

North Dakota needs to show our carbon output level ain't that bad.

So we're going to capture those carbon dioxide emissions and bury them thousands of feet underground.  The National Energy Technology Laboratory breaks it down like this...

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the separation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the emissions of industrial processes prior to release into the atmosphere and storage of the CO2 in deep underground geologic formations.

CCS enables industry to continue to operate while emitting fewer greenhouse gases (CHGs), making it a powerful tool for addressing mitigation of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere. However, storage must be safe, environmentally sustainable, and cost-effective. Suitable storage formations can occur in both onshore and offshore settings, and each type of geologic formation presents different opportunities and challenges. Geologic storage is defined as the placement of CO2 into a subsurface formation so that it will remain safely and permanently stored. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investigating five types of underground formations for geologic carbon storage:

  1. Saline formations

  2. Oil and natural gas reservoirs

  3. Unmineable coal seams

  4. Organic-rich shales

  5. Basalt formations

So this is a process that the coal industry now has to undertake to even have their output considered by many in the marketplace. It's when it hits the bottom line that change finally comes around.

From the Department Of Energy

attachment-DOE Illustration-of-Pressure-Effects-on-CO2

Eastern North Dakota Producers Also Investigating Carbon Storage

Eastern North Dakota doesn't have the deep rock layers and formations as found in other parts of the state.  So is carbon storage even a possibility? The Associated Press reports the state is serious about looking into it.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission recently approved a $325,000 matching grant to fund a seismic study of the geology near Dakota Spirit. The money comes from the state Renewable Energy Fund, which includes revenue from oil taxes and interest on the repayment of water project loans.

The carbon capture would be in connection with ethanol production near Jamestown.  So it looks like the ethanol industry is taking the high road all on their own.


 Ethanol plants are pursuing carbon storage projects in part to make their fuel more marketable to places such as California, where state policy values fuels with a low carbon intensity. 

Always follow the money.

And, follow these links if you want to learn more about carbon capture.  Click here  here  or here

10 Least Expensive North Dakota Cities To Live In


Risque' Town Names In NoDak & Minnesota


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