Abstract

Coal supplies nearly 50 percent of electricity generation in the United States and 25 percent of the global energy supply; Wyoming produces approximately 40 percent of the coal consumed in the United States. It is likely that near-term energy strategies will include coal and other fossil energy sources in the fuel mix, therefore mitigating carbon dioxide emissions through geologic carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is crucial. Here we discuss the current state of CCS technology across the globe and its future potential for development. We also outline the current regulatory structure for CCS in the United States, specifically Wyoming, and we introduce the study undertaken by University of Wyoming researchers and their collaborators to characterize Paleozoic deep saline aquifers on the Moxa Arch in southwestern Wyoming for long-term geologic carbon storage. The research presented in this special issue of Rocky Mountain Geology and future research that builds on these findings, such as the site characterization project underway on the Rock Springs Uplift in Wyoming, will be important steps to advance successful CCS technologies at a rate and scale that can make a meaningful impact on greenhouse gas emissions and to construct commercial geologic sequestration projects in the Rocky Mountain West.

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