The White House Release summarizes the carbon emissions reduction agreement between the US and China, as reported in the media. But the Release has several hidden gems, describing other elements of the agreement with China. Some of these other elements are clearly designed to benefit the coal industry by enhancing research in carbon sequestration and implementing the results of that research. This component should, in a normal political atmosphere, please Republicans and any Democrats from the “coal states.”
Here are a few examples of these other parts of the agreement:
The United States and China agreed to:
- Expand Joint Clean Energy Research and Development: A renewed and expanded commitment to the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). This will include:
- Extending the CERC mandate for an additional five years from 2016-2020;
- Renewing funding for the three existing tracks: building efficiency, clean vehicles, and advanced coal technologies with carbon capture, use and sequestration (CCUS); and
- Launching a new track on the interaction of energy and water (the energy/water ‘nexus’).
- Advance Major Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Demonstrations: Expanding our work under the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) and under the CERC, and partnering with the private sector, the United States and China will undertake a major carbon capture and storage project in China that supports a long term, detailed assessment of full-scale sequestration in a suitable, secure underground geologic reservoir. The United States and China will make equal funding commitments to the project and will seek additional funding commitments from other countries and the private sector. In addition, both sides will work to manage climate change by demonstrating a new frontier for CO2 use through a carbon capture, use, and sequestration (CCUS) project that will capture and store CO2 while producing fresh water, thus demonstrating power generation as a net producer of water instead of a water consumer. This CCUS project with Enhanced Water Recovery will eventually inject about 1 million tons of CO2 and create approximately 1.4 million cubic meters of freshwater per year.