Senators announce nearly $67 million for carbon sequestration

Funding Will Help MSU Scientists Test New Clean Domestic Fossil Fuel Technologies

(Washington, D.C.) – Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today announced that $66.9 million is headed to the Big Sky Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership to help test carbon dioxide containment technology.

The Montana State University is leading the project, which has the potential to allow the United States use its extensive domestic fossil fuel resources without contributing to global climate change.

Researchers plan to use a natural underground formation as a storage facility for carbon dioxide (CO2) produced during energy development. Scientists have identified CO2 as a leading cause of global climate change.

 "This is tremendous news for Montana and for folks across the globe," Baucus said. "This technology has the potential to create good paying jobs, preserve our outdoor heritage and break our dependency on foreign sources of energy. Montana is leading the way to a bright, clean future for all people."

"Montanans are proud of the cutting-edge research underway at MSU," Tester said. "With our natural and renewable resources, Montana will have a key role in our energy future. This research will bring us closer to making our nation energy independent."

Big Sky plans to drill an injection well into the Nugget Sandstone formation in Southwest Wyoming. Researchers will then inject up to one million tons of CO2 per year, at a depth of approximately 11,000 feet. The sandstone formations in the region could potentially store more than 100 years of CO2 emissions.

Today's award to Big Sky is the seventh award in the third phase of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program through the U.S. Department of Energy.  Six other large-scale field projects are currently being developed throughout the United States by the other Regional Partnerships.