Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

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.


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.

One Response to “Celebrate clean coal, come on!”

  1. Rich Sweeney said

    Don’t forget Richardson’s clever suggestion as to what to do with nuclear waste:

    “There’s a technological solution, a scientific solution. What I would do, I would turn Yucca Mountain into a national laboratory. We have the greatest brains, our national lab scientists. We need to find a way to safely dispose of nuclear waste. There is a technological solution.”

    Ya because that’s the only thing keeping us from figuring out how how to deal with nuclear waste, we just don’t have enough lab space. And I love how all of the candidates, in both parties, are so confident of technological solutions. What do they know that the market doesn’t?

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