Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Prejudice Against Coal
Coal provides fuel to produce 50 percent of our electricity. Now that global warming is an acknowledged problem and carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas, coal is being vilified. The hold harmless clause we give ourselves for driving our cars and buying every electrical device we can afford for our homes is part of the great American illusion. What illusion you ask? The illusion that we can make coal into a boogie man while we spew 21 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for every gallon of gasoline we use. And that home furnace, whether fuel oil, electric, gas or wood, the old CO2 is spewing.
Hopefully, Kyoto II will be technology driven and will reflect an appreciation for the American way of life. We know the rest of the American public wants to consume as much electricity as possible and at reasonable prices. Note how the politicians get excited when electric utilities request price increases. Americans are consumers. In fact, we are the biggest consumers on the planet and brag about being a SUPER POWER. You don't get to be a super power by being shy about energy use. AAEA appreciates the electricity provided by coal and we will work to assure that 'clean coal' technologies will be aggressively pursued. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal and our counrtry will continue to use plenty of it. Let's just make sure it is as clean as is technologically feasible.