Convocation speaker to address Kentucky's reliance on coal
RELEASED: February 28, 2008
DANVILLE, KY— Mark David Goss, chair of the Kentucky Public Service Commission, will discuss the need for the state to reduce carbon emissions from coal combustion on Thursday, March 6, in Young Hall 101 at 7:30 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.
"Nowhere in this country are limits on carbon emissions from coal combustion going to have a more profound impact than in Kentucky," Goss says.
About 50 percent of electricity nationwide is generated from coal, he says. In Kentucky, coal-generated electricity comprises to more than 90 percent. Kentucky also has the lowest electric rates in the nation.
"It's clear that the momentum, in both politics and policy, is in the direction of constraints on carbon emissions," Goss says. "I think we can all agree that it would be imprudent for Kentuckians to sit on the sidelines while others make decisions that will shape the future of our state."
Conservation, renewable energy and increased efficiency should all be implemented as quickly as possible, Goss says, but he adds that, "Even under the most optimistic scenario, our nation and especially states such as Kentucky, will be dependent on coal for a substantial portion of our electricity needs for several decades to come. We need to find ways to continue using coal—probably in increased amounts—while at the same time reducing emissions of carbon dioxide."
One solution Goss will discuss during his presentation at Centre is "carbon capture and sequestration" or CCS, which is the process of collecting carbon emissions and storing them. CCS may reduce emissions by as much as 80 percent using various technologies.
Of course new technology is expensive, Goss says, and CCS requires substantial energy resources to implement.
"It appears likely that a CCS system will require anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of a coal plant's total electric output. So either more or bigger plants will be needed to serve the same amount of demand," he says.
He says that the cost will, naturally, be passed on to consumers.
"I'm convinced that Kentucky must be in the forefront of developing technology that will allow us to deal with a carbon-constrained economy," Goss says.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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