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Carson's 'Green' Power Plant Gets the Red Light

Photo by lady_lbrty via Flickr
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Plans to build a $1 billion power plant in Carson--touted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the "cleanest and greenest" in the nation when it was announced in 2006--have just recently been "quietly abandoned," the Contra Costa Times reports, citing "inhospitable" ecological conditions at the proposed site, and "resistance from local environmentalists."The resistance is characterized as a split between groups considered to be "mainstream" environmentalist organizations, and those categorized as working for "environmental justice." The desire to focus on green energy and to continue to make California a leader in green-collar jobs and technology was eclipsed by those opposed, who feared potential carbon dioxide leakage from the proposed underground storage as part of the plant's use of carbon-capture technology.

The Carson plant was to be a team effort between BP America and Edison International, set up next to the current BP Carson refinery, and "would have used leftover petroleum coke to generate electricity" with "the resulting carbon dioxide [...] sold to Occidental Petroleum, which would pump it into the ground to improve oil recovery." But Occidental backed out, noting that the proposed land "was not amenable to a flood of carbon dioxide," and not because of any opposition.