The Associated Press November 11, 2010, 5:22PM ET

Atlantic City opposes buried CO2 plan from plant

Atlantic City is opposing a plan to capture CO2 from a coal-fired power plant in northern New Jersey and bury it under the ocean floor.

The City Council passed a resolution Wednesday against the proposed PurGen One plant in Linden that would trap CO2 waste, transport it through a pipeline and pump it under pressure into the sea bed off Atlantic City.

The $5.2 billion project was proposed by Massachusetts company SCS Energy, which says the technology has been proven to work elsewhere and is safe for the environment.

But environmental groups applauded Atlantic City's action.

The project would use so-called carbon sequestration to keep the CO2 buried under the ocean floor.

"The Atlantic City Council understands the importance of protecting our oceans from chemical waste," said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

Citizens United for Renewable Energy, another group opposing the plan, also backed the council's move.

"The council drew a line in the sand; enough is enough," said CURE member Georgina Shanley.

The group said it will approach local governments around the state to ask them to pass similar resolutions.

An SCS spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday. But the company's website says the plant would be the cleanest fossil fuel facility in the world.

The company says the technology has been used in the North Sea and has been proven to be effective. It says the plant will trap 90 percent of its CO2 emissions and safely store them in the seabed 70 miles off the Atlantic City coast.

The proposed facility would not burn coal, but would convert it to a synthetic gas. Carbon dioxide would be removed from the gas and stored offshore in rock formations deep below the ocean bottom where it would be closely monitored.

The remaining gas, mostly hydrogen, would be used to produce such hydrogen products as urea, which is used for fertilizer and for pollution control in cars and industrial plants, and to fuel a power plant that is practically identical to the one that is immediately next to the PurGen One site, according to the company.


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