From the New York Times' Dot Earth blog:
Senators John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, and Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, have joined in introducing a bill that would establish awards for researchers who develop technologies that can economically extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stash it away. In doing so, they are potentially upping the ante offered in 2007 by Richard Branson, the aviation and music magnate, for such an advance.
Various researchers studying the interface of climate and energy policy have said that such technology is well worth pursuing, particularly given that oil and other liquid fossil fuels are almost surely going to be burned — particularly in vehicles or other dispersed sources — for many years to come, according to many assessments. The only way to retrieve the carbon dioxide produced this way is from the air, not tailpipes or smokestacks.Others certainly disagree. Nate Lewis, a Cal Tech professor focused on advancing solar technology, said this kind of option should be last in line. When I sent him the senators’ news release, this was his response: “It makes no sense to remove CO2 from air when energy/electricity is not essentially fully decarbonized first (i.e., > 90% and likely > 95%). Otherwise to generate the energy needed to capture the CO2 from the air, one produces more CO2 than is captured.” >>>MORE