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Coal Plant Carbon Pollution Injects Life in Old Oil Wells

The dream of pollution-free coal plants is getting a boost from growing demand for carbon dioxide used to revive old oilfields.

In one of the first projects to harness the C02 waste of a coal plant for oil drilling, power generator NRG Energy Inc. announced today that it’s beginning construction on a $1 billion retrofit of its East Texas coal plant. NRG will pump carbon dioxide pollution from the plant deep into a nearby oil field that it partially owns. The idea is to loosen trapped crude deposits, making old wells flow like new while burying the harmful greenhouse gas. Cash from the increased oil production will help pay for the project, NRG said in a statement today.