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Robert Bryce is a senior fellow withe the Center for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Robert BryceManhattan Institute, a conservative U.S. think tank. A biographical note states that he has "has written about the energy business for two decades" and that since 2005 "he has served as the managing editor of Energy Tribune, an online publication that focuses on the global energy sector."
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
Bryce was a featured speaker at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Meeting, at a Workshop titled "Unconventional Revolution: How Technological Advancements Have Transformed Energy Production in the United States." The panel served as advocacy for the controversial drilling process for natural gas, called fracking.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Critic of Carbon Capture and Storage
In an opinion column in the New York Times, Bryce criticized the inclusion of $2 billion in an energy bill proposed by John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman on top of $2.4 billion included in the 2009 economic stimulus package. "That’s a lot of money for a technology whose adoption faces three potentially insurmountable hurdles: it greatly reduces the output of power plants; pipeline capacity to move the newly captured carbon dioxide is woefully insufficient; and the volume of waste material is staggering. Lawmakers should stop perpetuating the hope that the technology can help make huge cuts in the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions," he wrote.
He also argued that, since analysts estimate that CCS would cut power output by as much as 28 percent, "it’s hard to believe that the United States, or any other country that relies on coal-fired generation, will agree to reduce the output of its coal-fired plants by almost a third in order to attempt carbon capture and sequestration." He also noted that the public would probably end up footing the cost of pipeline infrastructure but doubted that the storage capacity actually existed.
Bryce also foreshadowed public opposition to the living next to a carbon dioxide dump. "There will also be considerable public resistance to carbon dioxide pipelines and sequestration projects — local outcry has already stalled proposed carbon capture projects in Germany and Denmark. The fact is, few landowners are eager to have pipelines built across their property. And because of the possibility of deadly leaks, few people will to want to live near a pipeline or an underground storage cavern. This leads to the obvious question: which members of the House and Senate are going to volunteer their states to be dumping grounds for all that carbon dioxide?," he wrote.
Articles and resources
- "Robert Bryce", Manhattan Institute website, accessed May 2010.
- [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
- Robert Bryce, "A Bad Bet on Carbon", New York Times, May 12, 2010.
Related SourceWatch articles
- Sarah Forbes, "NYTimes: A Bad Bet On Carbon? Another View on CCS", World Resources Institute, May 14, 2010.
- George Peridas, "Bryce's turn to get it wrong on CCS", Switchboard (Blog), May 21, 2010. (Perides is a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.)