Moniz to Visit Kemper Carbon-Capture Plant

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 6.0 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 13, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (National Journal)

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit Mississippi's Kemper County CCS project, an Energy Department official confirmed Tuesday, one of only two plants under construction that will employ carbon-capture and sequestration technology.

CCS has been in the spotlight after new Environmental Protection Agency regulations were issued that essentially mandate it for new coal power plants. Coal advocates say the technology is still too fledgling for the government to require its deployment.

The Kemper project's launch has been pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2014, but the $4 billion plant has been hailed as a signifier of the potential to limit greenhouse gases while still burning coal. The plant will trap 65 percent of its carbon-dioxide emissions and pump them to an oil field while simultaneously using integrated gasification combined cycle technology to convert coal to natural gas.

Moniz has also said that natural gas must eventually trap its carbon emissions as well.