Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Support for carbon capture is extensive but not strong, Indiana study finds

Date:
September 18, 2012
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
A solid majority of Indiana residents think it's a good idea to address concerns about climate change by capturing carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and storing it underground, according to a recent study.

A solid majority of Indiana residents think it's a good idea to address concerns about climate change by capturing carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and storing it underground, according to a recently published study by Indiana University researchers.

But most Hoosiers didn't know about the approach, called carbon capture and storage, before being contacted for the study. And even after learning about it, a majority didn't have strong feelings pro or con -- suggesting they will be open to persuasion by supporters and opponents of the technology.

Respondents were more likely to support carbon capture and storage if they believe that human activities contribute to climate change, support increased use of renewable energy or have an "egalitarian" worldview. Respondents who called themselves political conservatives were more likely to oppose carbon capture and storage.

"Our study finds that initial perceptions are mostly favorable toward the deployment of CCS technology in Indiana and that respondents tend to shape their perceptions of CCS on their personal beliefs about climate change, energy, politics and equality," said Sanya Carley, lead author of the paper and an assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington.

"But most respondents were not familiar with CCS before the survey was administered," she said. "While these findings suggest that Indiana residents will likely support CCS if factual information is provided about the technology, it may also suggest the possibility that respondents could be influenced to change their stance on CCS in the presence of more information on the pros or cons of the technology, especially if this information speaks to their personal beliefs."

The study, "Early Public Impressions of Terrestrial Carbon Capture and Storage in a Coal-Intensive State," was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Co-authors are Rachel M. Krause, an IU SPEA alumna now at the University of Texas-El Paso; David C. Warren, a SPEA doctoral student; John A. Rupp, a research scientist at the Indiana Geological Survey; and SPEA Dean John D. Graham.

The study is the first state-level survey of perceptions of carbon capture and storage, and it is significant that it was conducted in a state that relies heavily on coal and where carbon capture and storage facilities would probably be sited. Developers of plants at Edwardsport, Ind., and Rockport, Ind., propose using CCS.

Carley said public opinion on carbon capture and storage can make or break deployment at the scale necessary to make a meaningful reduction in carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Several carbon capture and storage facilities have been canceled for economic reasons, but public opposition blocked a project in Germany.

The U.S. Department of Energy and coal and utility companies have generally favored carbon capture and storage, while environmental groups are divided, with some supporting it as an interim measure and others arguing for rejecting coal as an energy source. Other organizations may oppose the technology because they reject the idea that human activities cause climate change. As specific carbon capture and storage projects are proposed, supporters and opponents are likely to step up their efforts to win over public opinion.

The study included a two-wave survey of 1,000 adult Indiana residents in the summer of 2011. Respondents were initially contacted and interviewed by phone about politics, energy, climate change and related topics. Those who agreed to participate were mailed a one-page fact sheet and diagram about carbon capture and storage. They were then interviewed about CCS.

In the second interview, nearly three-fourths of respondents agreed that "storing carbon dioxide underground is a good approach to protecting the environment." However, 80 percent had not heard of carbon capture and storage before being contacted for the survey. And opinions tended to be lukewarm. Only 36 percent expressed "strong" support for or opposition to CCS, while a majority agreed or disagreed "somewhat" with the idea.

"People appear now to hold more intermediate views of CCS," Carley said. "Information could potentially sway these individuals toward a stronger pro or con position, which could eventually affect the viability of CCS deployment in the state."

The study was funded by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sanya R. Carley, Rachel M. Krause, David C. Warren, John A. Rupp, John D. Graham. Early Public Impressions of Terrestrial Carbon Capture and Storage in a Coal-Intensive State. Environmental Science & Technology, 2012; 46 (13): 7086 DOI: 10.1021/es300698n

Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Support for carbon capture is extensive but not strong, Indiana study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918154106.htm>.
Indiana University. (2012, September 18). Support for carbon capture is extensive but not strong, Indiana study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918154106.htm
Indiana University. "Support for carbon capture is extensive but not strong, Indiana study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918154106.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins