Reducing emissions with carbon capture technology is a sham

Posted on

Eliminating and even reducing emissions with carbon capture technology

If you didn’t know, in the year 2022, we had the largest global greenhouse gas emissions, which hit 58 gigatons! Planting trees has been a way to reduce carbon emissions over time, but now many experts believe the impact of these efforts alone will be too little, too late. It’s a frustrating issue that has led Germany to start using hydrogen fuel in its passenger trains. In order to directly eliminate some of these emissions, cleantech leaders are using what’s known as “carbon capture technology” to make immediate progress toward reducing and even reversing emissions. Carbon capture can effectively remove up to 90% of emissions from the air released at power plants and industrial facilities.

This might be a sound idea, but it’s a sham, a new scam to swindle money from the public.

The history of carbon capture scam
Oil industry geologists knew in the 1950s that all oil fields would deplete over time, as pressure dropped in rock formations and the oil would no longer flow. They developed certain “enhanced oil recovery” technologies to extend the life of depleted oil fields, by fracking and by pumping carbon dioxide (CO2) into old wells. However, these technologies were expensive and reduced their gargantuan profit margins. Furthermore, by 1965, even the American Petroleum Institute had anticipated the “catastrophic consequences” of carbon dioxide emissions. Thus the Great Carbon Capture Scam was born. Industry insiders publicly claimed that they could capture and store the dangerous CO2, using public money of course, while secretly planning to use this captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, which would create more carbon emissions. It might take decades for the public to figure out that they had been filched.

In 1948, Chevron discovered a promising field in Scurry County, Texas, which showed signs of depletion by 1951. In 1972, they began the world’s first CCS project, using waste carbon dioxide from a gas field 400 kilometers away, near the Mexican border, shipping it north through a pipeline, and using the gas to extend the life of their Scurry field. After using the CO2, they vented the gas, so there was no real climate advantage. However, the technology worked to produce more oil. Since the companies intended to use captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, the technology was then called “Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage,” (CCUS). In 1992, international oil companies held the first CCUS conference in the Netherlands.

In 1998 Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, and the Australian government began promoting carbon capture and use for the huge Gorgon gas field in Australia that had two public relations problems: It was in a nature reserve and it produced a relatively dirty, climate-wrecking gas with 14% carbon dioxide waste. Since the carbon had to be captured anyway, to meet export regulations, the oil companies lobbied to have Australian citizens pay for it. Chevron and their partners received a $60-million grant from the Australian government, and in 2003 Chevron claimed that CCUS was “a vital technology to ensure a safe, reliable supply of energy to meet the world’s needs.” Meanwhile, an API promotional campaign confirmed that CCS was primarily used to “enhance oil production.”

In Australia, the companies promised to capture millions of tonnes of carbon, beginning in 2016, but for the first four years they captured none, and in 2019 the Gorgon CCUS project clogged up with sand and had to shut down for repairs. To date, Gorgon has captured about 30% of its target for “processing emissions,” but this term hides the fact that the companies have only captured about 2% of the target for total emissions. However, the one thing that Chevron did capture and store was 100% of the $60 million in public hand-outs.

Carbon capture technology red herrings and red flags

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!