Machine Design

Cutting Carbon-Dioxide Emissions

Carnegie Mellon University international engineering and environmental policy expert M. Granger Morgan is challenging U.S. federal and state officials to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions he says fuel global warming.

Julie Kalista
Online Editor

Morgan argues that legislators should impose regulations that prevent power companies from rushing to build large numbers of conventional coal plants before regulations on carbon dioxide emissions are effective.

The U.S. electricity industry plans to build 154 plants in the next 24 years, with 50 of them to be constructed in the next five years, according the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory. Morgan says the technology would be amine scrubbers, integrated gasification, combined cycles, or oxy-fuel plants that can capture and sequester CO2 in deep geological formations.

According to Morgan, the U.S. needs to cut carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by more than 80% during the next 50 years to slow the impact of global warming. "This could be done at an overall long-term cost increase in price of electricity of about 20 % — a small price to pay to save arctic seals, polar bears, coral reefs and other valuable ecosystems," Morgan said.

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Carnegie Mellon University

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