Carbon king but clean-energy crusader Rogers inks MOU with Chinese utility

Efforts to capture carbon king (but global warming believer) Jim Rogers of Duke Energy — the nation’s third largest power producer based in Charlotte, N.C. –- during his quick spin through Colorado’s Vail Valley to support three local environmental nonprofits fizzled late last week when he jetted off to China over the weekend.

Turns out for an equally good cause.

“Jim Rogers is actually in China right now for a memorandum of understanding we signed with a large utility over there for carbon capture and sequestration and smart grid technology, so he’s going to be out of pocket,” Duke Energy spokesman Greg Efthimiou said in a phone message Monday.

Introduced by Gov. Bill Ritter at the EverGreen Ball in Avon Saturday night, Rogers jumped on a jet to sign an MOU with China’s largest state-run power company, China Huaneng Group, to explore joint projects on energy issues, including carbon control, according to Triangle Business Journal. It’s reportedly the first such agreement between major American and Chinese power companies, although it’s being described as non-binding.

Rogers recently made headlines in Colorado for inking a major deal to build a wind farm on the Eastern Plains for Westminster’s Tri-State Generation and Transmission, and in April Rogers stressed the urgency of carbon sequestration technology for coal-fired power plants (while admitting his company has yet to make it work financially) during an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

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