“Our nation’s economy will continue to rely on the availability and affordability of domestic coal for decades to meet its energy needs, and these advances are necessary to reduce pollution in the meantime,” Obama said.

“President Obama and this administration are strongly committed to the development of carbon capture and storage technology as a key part of the clean energy economy. We
can and should lead the world in this technology and the jobs it can create,” said Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Steven Chu.

The Task Force will be co-chaired by representatives of from the DoE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and include participants from at least nine different agencies and offices. The Task Force shall develop within 180 days (September 2010) a plan to overcome the barriers to the deployment of widespread affordable CCS within 10 years, with a goal of bringing five to 10 commercial demonstration projects on line by 2016. The plan should address incentives for CCS adoption and any financial, economic, technological, legal, institutional, or other barriers to deployment. The Task Force should consider how best to coordinate existing federal authorities and programs, as well as identify areas where additional federal authority may be necessary. The Task Force shall report progress periodically to the president, through the chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

“News that the president will create a high-level task force on CCS technology is very welcome,” said Hal Quinn, president and CEO, National Mining Association. “It’s an acknowledgement by the administration not only of the importance of this technology for controlling global greenhouse gas emissions, but also of the vital role played by coal in supplying affordable electricity to America and a growing world economy.”

There is widespread agreement among both private and public energy experts that reducing concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions without carbon capture and storage technology will be difficult, if not impossible, Quinn explained. “Key coal executives are eager to cooperate with the task force in furthering the development and deployment of CCS and other advanced clean coal technologies,” Quinn said.