Scientists say the best way to keep coal-powered electricity alive while cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions is to store the power plants' carbon dioxide emissions underground. But sequestering the pollution raises sticky legal questions:
• Who should be liable if the sequestration project harms local groundwater or if the carbon dioxide escapes from the ground?
• Should Congress or the states allow companies to store carbon dioxide gases deep underground without first getting permission from citizens who own the land above those storage caverns?
• Which federal agency should regulate the underground storage sites and the transportation of pollution from the power plants to the caverns?
• Should Congress advocate legislation and money for capturing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel plants and storing them underground? Is it worth the effort?