Carbon Capture and Storage Likely To Cause Earthquakes, Trigger Leaks

Climate Change Reports

Capturing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and pumping it deep underground for permanent storage has been billed as a way to curtail global warming, but some scientists are raising new concerns that storing carbon dioxide that way could cause earthquakes severe enough to allow the greenhouse gas to escape into the atmosphere, reports James Bruggers at the Courier-Journal. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, a private, nonprofit institution that provides expert advice to the government, suggests that the process could build up enough pressure to cause minor to moderate earthquakes — the same thing that can happen in other energy-related drilling involving fluids that are pumped into the ground.  Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback testified before a Senate committee that large-scale carbon capture and storage is risky and will likely fail. For it to make a difference, Zoback said, the amount of carbon dioxide needed to…

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