"A coal plant seeking hundreds of millions in public funding submitted an analysis riddled with mistakes, according to a former Energy Department official. But the government published it anyway."
"A former Energy Department official is warning that the government may not be prepared to assess the effectiveness of new clean energy projects, pointing to what she called serious errors in a recent analysis of a major carbon capture and storage proposal in North Dakota.
The errors came in what’s called a life cycle assessment, or LCA, published by the department last month for a $1.4 billion effort that would remove and store millions of tons of carbon dioxide annually from the smokestacks of a coal plant.
The assessment is meant to help estimate and compare all the ways a project could increase or decrease pollution. In this case, however, it was riddled with mistakes, said Emily Grubert, an associate professor of sustainable energy policy at the University of Notre Dame and former deputy assistant secretary of carbon management at the Department of Energy, where she oversaw certain carbon capture programs until last year.
“The overall point that I came away with was that whoever did this LCA did not know what they were doing,” Grubert said."