Friday, March 27, 2009

Why "Clean Coal" is being abandoned

I just read an excellent article in US News and World Report about "clean coal" technologies and why they won't work : Why Clean Coal Is Years Away But the author doesn't really believe what he's writing.
Coal is here to stay.... America runs on coal. It's cheap, plentiful (at least for another 100 years or so), and comfortingly domestic. Two hundred years ago, it powered the industrial revolution. Today, it spits out nearly half of the country's electricity.
And then after telling how impossible it all is, he writes:
But given just how reliant the nation is on coal power, the only real question seems to be how clean it will eventually become.
The man has blinders on, and can't even understand what his research is telling him!

In a link next to the article I found this encouraging short message, which is Obama finally becoming realistic:
Clean Coal Program Shift Flawed: By Henry J. Reske, Posted March 16, 2009
A Department of Energy decision to alter course on a program to develop a clean coal power plant potentially involving some $1.3 billion in federal funding was "not well considered." That is the conclusion of a Government Accountability Office study entitled "Clean Coal: DOE's Decision to Restructure FutureGen Should Be Based on a Comprehensive Analysis of Costs, Benefits, and Risks." The Energy Department's FutureGen program was originally unveiled in 2003. In partnership with the electric power industry and later with the coal industry, it set as its goal the designing and building of the "world's first coal-fired, zero-emissions power plant." The report finds that the decision to shift from what was originally a research and development project to a commercial demonstration project was not based on a "comprehensive analysis of factors, such as the associated costs, benefits, and risks." The GAO called on DOE to re-examine its decision based on those factors.
So let's use all that DOE research money on renewables, so that even more jobs become available like the one in the next entry!

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