Common Tragedies

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Archive for the ‘Coal/ CCS’ Category

CCS sentence of the day

Posted by Rich Sweeney on December 19, 2007

Describing FutureGen, an alliance of coal producers, users and government working towards a zero emissions coal power plant, David Hawkins of the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote simply,

“Too much future, too little gen.”

The quote is from a terrific post on DotEarth today by Andrew Revkin. I also really liked this passage,

The Chinese project, called GreenGen, has gained a new partner, Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company (the one battling the governor of Kansas over stalled permits for coal-burning plants)…. You can find Peabody’s announcement of its GreenGen activities on its home page, just to the right of the ticker reeling off 2007 coal sales in tons per second. (It was at 226,861,610 tons around 9:30 this morning; what is it now?)

I actually have something of my own to add on this topic but am late to go check out Critter Cam at the National Geographic. In the meantime definitely check out Revkin’s post for yourself.

Posted in Coal/ CCS | Leave a Comment »

Celebrate clean coal, come on!

Posted by Evan Herrnstadt on November 16, 2007

I’d just like to point out that last night’s Democratic debate was sponsored by the coal industry. That might help explain this exchange:

WOLF BLITZER: All right, Senator, until there’s some new technological breakthrough, as you would hope and all of us would hope, where do you send the [nuclear] waste?

BARACK OBAMA: Well, right now, it is on-site in many situations. And that is not the optimal situation, Wolf. But don’t keep on assuming that we can’t do something. I mean, this is about the third time where you said, assuming we can’t do it, what’s our option?

BLITZER: Well, until we can…

OBAMA: But — but — but I’m running for president because I think we can do it. I reject the notion that we can’t meet our energy challenges.

BLITZER: All right.

OBAMA: We can, if we’ve got bold leadership in the White House that is saying we are going to do something about climate change, we are going to develop renewable energy sources. That’s what I intend to do as president.

BLITZER: Let…

OBAMA: And we shouldn’t, you know, be pessimistic about the future of America.

Nuclear is dangerous? Renewables are an audacious pipe dream? In such dire times, to whom can the American people possibly turn?

Taking off my foil hat for a second, I’d say the “highlight” of the evening was a clean coal commercial set to “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. I’m considering advocating an immediate $500/ton carbon tax just so I never have to see that ad again.

Posted in 2008 Elections, Coal/ CCS, Nuclear | 1 Comment »

Obama and King Coal

Posted by Rich Sweeney on November 15, 2007

The tar sands article I just posted about also briefly mentioned the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act, introduced earlier this year by Jim Bunning and Barack Obama. This act would provide tax subsidies and loan guarantees for plants to invest in CTL. I knew that Obama was big on coal (he’s from Illinois), but I had forgotten about this specific bill when I posted on the energy platforms of the 08 front runners. While I’m all for letting the market decide which fuels we use once carbon restrictions are in place, subsidizing CTL now is insane. Especially given that there is still tremendous uncertainty as to if and where we’ll be able to capture and store carbon.

For me, this bill significantly undermines Obama’s green credentials. To steal a phrase from former Canadian Environmental Minister Charles Caccia, pledging to fight global warming on the one hand while subsidizing CTL on the other is “attempting to ride two horses galloping in opposite directions.”

Posted in 2008 Elections, Coal/ CCS | Leave a Comment »

 
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