A giant in the coal game says carbon capture and storage “does not work”.

Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, the USA’s largest privately held coal-mining company, has told E&E News that “carbon capture and sequestration … [is] a pseudonym for ‘no coal”.

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), known more commonly in Australia as carbon capture and storage, involves trapping carbon dioxide from heavy industry or power plants and storing it underground.

It has been pushed by the coal industry as a ‘clean coal’ technology that will help it stay relevant, but with cheap natural gas and renewable energy on the rise, that argument is becoming harder to make.

“It is neither practical nor economic, carbon capture and sequestration,” Mr Murray said.

“It is just cover for the politicians … that say, ‘Look what I did for coal,’ knowing all the time that it doesn’t help coal at all.”

Mr Murray made the comments in regard to a push to change the US EPA’s ‘endangerment finding’; the legal basis for the Government to regulate greenhouse gases.

US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has launched a formal initiative to review climate science outside the normal scientific peer-review process.

“The administrator believes that we will be able to recruit the best in the fields which study climate and will organise a specific process in which these individuals ... provide back-and-forth critique of specific new reports on climate science,” a senior administration official told reporters.

“Climate science, like other fields of science, is constantly changing. A new, fresh and transparent evaluation is something everyone should support doing.”