"If we don't try it, we don't know if it's going to work."
The city of Springfield is ground zero for a federal pilot project designed to figure out if carbon emissions can be stored underground.
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Because it's a dirty pollutant, energy officials are already bracing for some type of cap and trade regulation or tax on carbon in the future. Now, a special $2.5 million federal project will test if we can store these emissions underground, in the Ozarks' backyard. With the environmental tide beginning to turn against the pollutants seeping out of the smokestacks, Springfield's own Southwest power plant will now help test whether all that carbon residue can be safely disposed of underground. It will take a three phase process that will last three years. First, they'll conduct geological surveys of the conditions more than 2,000 feet below the plant's surface. Next state and university researchers will look into what was found. And finally, they'll inject a limited amount of carbon into the ground. If they're successful, Springfield's results could become a model for the state and the nation. It could also save City Utilities money, savings they say, would be passed along to you.
"It makes sense to spend a couple of million dollars to find out, can this work? If it does, it will save billions of dollars, and show the way for others," said Sen. Kit Bond, who is credited with delivering the $2.5 million dollars for the project.
"We will learn from that even if it doesn't work. But I'll guarantee you one thing, if we don't try it, we don't know if it's going to work," Bond said.