July 19, 2022

Storing carbon a mile and a half beneath Stanislaus County could help save the planet

“A company seeks to drill two very deep wells in Stanislaus County to capture some of the carbon dioxide involved in climate change.

Aemetis Inc. would sink the wells at its ethanol plant in Keyes and another coming soon to Riverbank. They would be perhaps 8,000 feet deep, far below groundwater sources, and would store close to 40 million tons of compressed gas over 20 years.

The $250 million project would put the county at the forefront of the effort to sequester CO2 that otherwise would trap heat in the atmosphere. Experts say climate change is already disrupting agriculture, raising sea levels and making storms and wildfires more extreme.

Aemetis, based in Cupertino, hopes to complete its wells by 2024, co-founder and CEO Eric McAfee said in a phone interview last week. The company needs permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including safeguards against leakage. The Keyes plant has made ethanol for cars and trucks from Midwestern corn since 2011. The other plant is set to open in 2024 in the former Army ammunition plant in Riverbank. It will produce jet fuel from orchard trees and other wood waste in the Central Valley.”

John Holland – The Modesto Bee

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