Fossil fuels are considered the most dependable, cost-effective energy source in the world. The availability of these fuels to provide clean, affordable energy is essential for domestic and global prosperity and security well into the 21st century. However, a balance is needed between energy security and increasing concerns over the impacts due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere - particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). At present, roughly one-third of the CO2 emissions in the United States come from power plants. A combined portfolio of carbon management options can be implemented to manage current emission levels while enhancing energy security and building the technologies and knowledge base for export to other countries faced with reducing emissions. The U.S. portfolio includes:

  1. use fuels with reduced carbon intensity - renewables, nuclear, and natural gas;

  2. adopt more efficient technologies on both the energy demand and supply sides; and

  3. use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

CCS is a viable emission management option because numerous studies have shown that it can account for up to 55 percent of the emissions mitigation needed to stabilize and ultimately reduce concentrations of CO2.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched its CCS Program in 1997, after holding a stakeholders workshop to obtain feedback from the technical and commercial sectors on its draft research plan. Advice was solicited from participants on their perspectives for priorities for the R&D program.

Consistent with Administration and Congressional priorities, CCS continues to be a key element of DOE's research and development (R&D) portfolio. Implemented by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) within DOE's Office of Fossil Energy (FE), the program is playing a lead role in CCS technology development and has made significant advances in the development of a broad range of effective and economically viable technologies. The DOE Program is being implemented through a Carbon Capture Program and Carbon Storage Program within FE.

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