We did the math on clean coal, and it doesn’t add up


The Kemper County energy facility in rural Mississippi is a technological wonder: Among other things, it’s the first coal-fired power plant in the United States designed to capture its carbon emissions. But as I discovered during a months-long investigation of the plant, some aspects are less than wondrous. The biggie: There is serious doubt among energy experts that this technology will actually produce a net benefit for the climate.

The Kemper plant’s climate bona fides are built on a what’s known as “carbon capture and sequestration,” or CCS — a highly technical process that scrubs the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and other industrial sources and stores them deep underground. Keeping carbon dioxide out of the air is critical if we’re going to avoid the worst effects of climate change. That’s why so many world energy leaders are calling for the development of this kind of technology.

But some analysts have called CCS by what seems to…

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