Foundation series

British Columbia partners with science foundation working on carbon burial

Feb. 15—Bakersfield College has reached an agreement with a major Bay Area lab foundation that could advance local efforts to establish a carbon management center to benefit the Kern County economy.

A Tuesday press release said the new partnership between British Columbia and the Livermore Lab Foundation will provide scientific technical assistance, community education and workforce development. He said the arrangement would also support state and local efforts to combat climate change through work such as carbon dioxide removal and storage.

The collaboration builds on the creation in British Columbia last fall of the Valley Strong Energy Institute and the college’s relationship with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This could fit well with a series of carbon capture and burial initiatives led by local industry and the county government.

The foundation is the nonprofit organization behind the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which in 2020 released a study that found California can reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, in part by removing carbon dioxide from the environment. atmosphere and burying it in underground oil formations at Kern which are well suited for the purpose. Several local oil producers have since offered to build such facilities.

British Columbia said its new partnership with the foundation will connect top scientists with students at the college, providing research expertise, assistance with grant applications and assistance with regional initiatives. He also said Lawrence Livermore scientists will serve on the Valley Strong Institute advisory board and support other working groups to keep carbon management high on local political agendas.

In an understatement of the challenges ahead, a Lawrence Livermore staff scientist who will serve on the advisory board, Kimberley Mayfield, called California’s carbon neutral goal “ambitious.”

“This will require innovation and implementation of existing and new technologies,” Mayfield said in the release. “We look forward to working collaboratively with Bakersfield College and others in the greater Kern County area to help achieve these goals.”

Foundation executive director Sally Allen added that the lab is working hard on climate resilience and trying to find practical applications and solutions.

“Our partnership with Bakersfield College will provide a connection to this expertise – expanding access to quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, research and scholarship opportunities,” Allen said in the release. .

Valley Strong Energy Institute director Liz Rozell added that the decision to also include the foundation on the advisory board solidifies B.C.’s plan to support a “smart energy transition at the local and scale.” of State”.

“Strategic technical partners will guide and advise our research, policy and workforce programs at the Energy Institute to ensure we provide the most innovative training to our students and the community,” said she declared.