Environmental News: Media Center

Main page | Archive

Press Release

Press contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, 202-277-1045 or Michael Kadish, 310-434-2300
If you are not a member of the press, please write to us at nrdcinfo@nrdc.org or see our contact page.


Using Advanced Technologies, New BP Plant Would Capture Carbon Dioxide, Extract Oil

Los Angeles, CA (February 10, 2006) -- Today British Petroleum and Edison Mission Group, accompanied by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced a first-of-its-kind power generation project in Southern California that would capture global warming pollution. The project, which is slated to be near Long Beach, CA, would use advanced technology to generate electricity and cut emissions, while using captured global warming pollution to extract more oil from existing fields.

This project will involve construction of a so-called gasification combined-cycle power plant, which involves converting solid fuel into a synthetic gas. This process makes it easier to extract carbon dioxide, the major global warming pollutant.

After the fuel -- petroleum byproducts from local refineries -- is converted and the carbon dioxide stripped out, remaining hydrogen will be burned to make 500 megawatts of electricity for California customers. The captured carbon dioxide will be piped to an oil field and injected into the ground to recover domestic oil.

Global warming is caused when pollution from fossil fuels builds up in the atmosphere, trapping heat like a blanket, raising temperatures. Global warming is a real threat for California, with the potential to cause sea level rise that threatens coastal communities, increase drought that can cause more forest fires, and exacerbate California's air pollution problems.

Statement of David Hawkins, Director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

"BP's proposal shows technologies are available now to cut global warming pollution while enabling companies to deliver affordable, reliable energy to their customers. These advanced technologies should be used whenever we make investments for new fossil-fuel electricity, and it's encouraging to see these companies ahead of the curve.

"In the right location, a project like this one can produce significant environmental and economic benefits, and turn a profit for investors. The Long Beach area is a challenging location for construction of a new power plant, no matter how advanced the technology. Community involvement is critical to determine whether this project will improve the local environment.

"To meet our global warming challenge, we'll need a wide range of solutions, including efficiency, renewable energy and advanced power plants that capture global warming pollution."

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Related NRDC Pages
A Responsible Energy Plan for America

Get Updates and Alerts

See the latest issue >

NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.

Donate now >

Share | |