Construction began this week on an Energy Department project that aims to bury a million metric tons of carbon dioxide beneath Illinois' surface by 2012, Wired reports. While that's peanuts compared to the billions of tons emitted each year, the project—the largest such injection to date—could pave the way for a multi-state storage site that advocates claim could store 100 billion tons.
The Bush administration scrapped FutureGen, the largest federal carbon sequestration project, last year, and critics have questioned the technology’s viability. But carbon capture in theory remains an attractive solution for states that lack wind and solar power resources, allowing them to keep their coal-fired plants without furthering climate change.
(Read more carbon sequestration stories.)