Springfield utility tests storing carbon dioxide underground

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | 3:56 p.m. CDT; updated 6:22 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield utility plans to inject carbon dioxide into the ground to test whether air pollution from power plants can be stored safely.

City Utilities’ experiment at the Southwest Power Station has more than $2 million in federal funding and support from five other utilities. Researchers will study how much carbon dioxide is absorbed 2,000 feet below ground by porous rock and a saltwater aquifer. Results are expected in three years.

Project supporters say the data are necessary because Congress is likely to create a “carbon tax” on industries that emit carbon dioxide. That demands an economical way for businesses to store the resulting carbon dioxide to avoid forcing consumers to pay higher prices for electricity and manufactured goods.

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