[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 19-Feb-2010
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Contact: Chriss Swaney
Swaney@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-5776
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon's Edward S. Rubin to discuss US energy strategies

Curbing global climate change

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Edward S. Rubin will discuss U.S. energy strategies needed to mitigate global climate change Feb. 20 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego, Calif.

Rubin, the Alumni Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science and a professor of engineering and public policy and mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, will discuss the need for a climate policy that effectively puts a price on CO2 emissions, which in turn would create incentives to reduce emissions.

"A critical technology needed to control the emissions responsible for climate change is carbon capture and storage," said Rubin.

Rubin reports that the fuels we now rely on for 85 percent of our energy will not be quickly replaced by cleaner alternatives. For example, over half of all U.S. electricity is currently supplied by coal, the biggest emitter of CO2, and another 20 percent by natural gas, also a significant source of CO2.

"What is still missing are several demonstrations of carbon sequestration at full-scale power plants," Rubin said.

"This calls for capturing several million tons a year of CO2 at each plant and burying it underground in carefully selected locations."

Rubin argues that carbon sequestration will not be widely deployed and developed unless there is a market for such systems created by a regulatory policy. "Once that policy is put in place, carbon sequestration along with other measures like energy efficiency and renewables will play a significant role in keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere," he said.

A world leader in climate change issues, Rubin created a widely used tool for engineering economic design and analysis of current and advanced power generation systems. His research also examines the role of government policies on the nature and pace of technological innovation to meet environmental goals.

He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1964 from the City College of New York. He earned a master's degree in 1965 and a Ph.D. in 1969 in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

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About Carnegie Mellon: Carnegie Mellon (http://www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the fine arts. More than 11,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia and Europe. The university is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, titled "Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University," which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.



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