Kern County educators will undergo training this weekend on how to teach their students about the potential to fight climate change through a locally promising process called carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS.
Using a 14-day program developed with assistance from Northern California’s Lawrence Livermore National Lab, teachers from four local high schools, as well as Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield, will learn introductory-level science on removing carbon from the air and permanently burying it. in local oil fields.
The school’s partnership with the lab and its nonprofit arm, the Livermore Lab Foundation, extends a collaboration that began earlier this year in meetings with leaders of the B3K Prosperity economic development initiative, which has identified renewable energy as a promising source of good jobs well into the future.
Out of 30 teachers participating in the teaching programme, 16 are local. In addition to representing both colleges, educators worked at East Bakersfield, Ridgeview, South and Taft Union high schools. Teachers who participate in the pilot program will have the opportunity to attend the National Lab’s Teacher Research Academy in the summer of 2022.
“This education and outreach program is important to Kern because it provides key information, in a variety of digestible components, to the general population to learn about carbon cleanup,” said B3K executive Kristen Beall Watson, via email. She added that creating a teaching “plateau” may be the most important outcome of the effort.
The program has four parts, starting with ocean acidification. From there, he delves into the global implications of excess carbon dioxide. Then it goes into modeling CCS in California and ends with creating a public service announcement for California’s 2045 carbon neutral goal and the role CCS can play in getting there. .
CCS has attracted interest from Kern oil producers keen to apply their technical expertise, infrastructure and skilled personnel in an emerging business area funded by state and federal governments.
No local projects have received final approval or funding, but one of the region’s top producers, Santa Clarita-based California Resources Corp., has proposed two multibillion-dollar projects that would inject carbon into depth in local oil reservoirs.
Lawrence Livermore National Lab has been studying the underlying technology for years and sees CCS, especially at Kern, as a strong contributor to the state’s eventual carbon neutrality.
“Climate change poses a very real national security risk,” lab director Kim Budil said in a press release. “As we look to the future, it is essential to address the carbon already present in the environment. CO2 removal and storage technologies will therefore play a key role in the global response to this threat.”
The overall effort is known as the Carbon Cleanup Initiative. It was developed in part through input from more than 1,200 voters and 30 community leaders from Kern and the greater Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, which is considered the other region in the state offering important CCS opportunities.
In the press release, the lab’s foundation executive director, Sally Allen, stressed that more people should know about the promise of carbon management.
“As carbon removal technologies and mitigation programs become more widespread and begin to be implemented,” she said, “it is essential that the general public and all stakeholders have access to accurate and unbiased information based on science, as well as on the interests of all stakeholders.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to clarify Budil’s job title.