Drilling in Rockland County Part III

Drilling in Rockland County

In previous posts regarding the drilling in Rockland County at Exit 14 on the NYS Thruway I explained that the project was the first phase of a major carbon sequestration investigation to determine if the Newark Basin rock formation is suitable for storing the poison byproducts of industry and progress. The Newark Basin sits under portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York State. I also explained some of the risks involved in carbon storage. 

Here’s an update. Drilling in New York was completed on October 10, 2011. The drill is gone now and the samples are presumably off to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in California for analysis. According to an article in the New York Times it’s doubtful that there will be any follow-up work on this project in our area.  
Carbon Capture and Sequestration ResearchHere’s why, in order to form a complete assessment of the Newark Basin’s potential, more test holes will have to be drilled. Getting to the CO2 capture stage would require cooperation with the power industry and new government regulations of carbon dioxide. However, there are budget constraints at both the state and federal levels that may halt the project before scientists have a grasp of The Newark Basin rock formation. 

Some officials involved in the project say that utility companies are not interested in spending money on CO2 capture experiments like this one, and there’s no indication that Congress or the U.S. EPA plan to aggressively regulate greenhouse gas emissions any time soon. Any future funding for carbon capture and sequestration may be cut as Washington shies away from spending tax payer dollars on experimental projects with questionable outcomes.  
Furthermore, Chris Brown, a consultant with Conrad Geoscience Corp. stated, “If a new site is drilled, it’s going to be so far away from here that it will be a whole new set of government agencies, local representatives and challenges. If other test wells are drilled, they will likely be located in Pennsylvania.” It’s uncertain whether the funds will be available to continue CCS research at all. 

Well Rockland, it looks like the Lower Hudson Valley has dodged a bullet on this issue… for now anyway. Personally I’m relieved. The companies that are pushing for carbon capture and storage are reluctant to accept, that without government funding for research and development, this is not a profitable solution to our pollution problem. 
What will quickly become a profitable enterprise is Carbon Capture and Recycling (CCR), or CO2 recycling. CCR is the wave of the future and it’s rapidly becoming a viable alternative to pumping CO2 emissions underground. Companies like Carbon Sciences, Mantra Venture Group and Morphic Technologies are making great strides in developing new methods to turn carbon into fuel. 
Carbon Capture and Recycling

If successful, CCR could reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil; allow large carbon emitters to use their waste steams as a source of income; displace the mining of new oil and stop unnecessary exploration; produce infrastructure-ready fuels, like diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, that could be used without engine conversions or adaptations; and substantially reduce carbon emissions. Now that sounds like progress. As one reader commented, it looks like the Green Revolution has begun. 
Watch for future posts on Carbon Capture and Recycling for more details – coming soon.

Drilling in Rockland County 8/20/11

Drilling in Rockland County Part II 9/29/11


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