April 14, 2017 - Energy Secretary Rick Perry attended an opening ceremony Thursday for a new carbon-capture project at a Texas coal-fired power plant, hailing it as a model of "clean coal."
The Petra Nova project at the existing WA Parish Generating Station is the world’s largest carbon-capture facility, using a chemical process to remove carbon dioxide after coal is burned for electricity generation.
Perry, Texas’s former governor, joined current Gov. Greg Abbott (R) at the celebration, according to the Houston Chronicle.
He told attendees that the project is a major victory both for energy and the environment and is evidence that environmental protection doesn’t need to threaten the energy industry.
“We can and we will be stewards of both,” Perry said, according to the Chronicle.
“While the Petra Nova project will certainly benefit Texas, it also demonstrates that clean coal technologies can have a meaningful and positive impact on the nation’s energy security and economic growth,” Perry said in a statement.
The Trump administration has made fossil fuels a priority, mainly through actions to reduce regulations on the oil, natural gas and coal industries.
But developing so-called clean coal is also a stated goal of the administration.
The project cost about $1 billion and was developed by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon. The Energy Department under the Obama administration gave the Petra Nova project $167 million through a clean coal initiative.
It will capture up to 1.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the emissions of about 250,000 cars, the developers said. It's capable of capturing more than 90 percent of the carbon the coal-burning process emits.
The carbon dioxide is then sold to Hilcorp Energy, which uses it to help recover oil from nearby drilling operations.