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Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean Coal

Posted on the 03 March 2011 by ---
Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean CoalAs the US has continued to pursue non-oil remedies to our energy consumption issues, our focus has drifted.  Right now, it's more about the source not being foreign oil than about it being clean, common-sense, or sustainable.  The results have been several proposals that may sound good, but present hosts of new issues themselves.  Examples are nuclear, clean coal, natural gas, domestic oil, and corn ethanol.  Pitched aggressively by an energy industry wary of losing revenues and promoted heavily by the Bush Administration, clean coal has gained traction in America's energy future.  In fact, the name is a bit of a misnomer.  What it really involves is the underground sequestration of coal emissions from burning via 'gasification.'  This is currently pricy, scientifically disputed, and risky.  For instance, the American Water Works Association has cautioned that sequestered CO2 may escape from chambers, contaminating aquifers that supply drinking water.  Despite this, the government has put billions of federal funds into the development of clean coal.  Perhaps clean coal could represent a short-term stopgap, but it won't be a solution in the long run.  The price of the inefficient technology is just too high, the emissions are still significant (although reduced by more than 50% via the cleansing process), and coal is a finite resource.  Tax dollars should not go to a questionable technology that pads the pockets of coal corporations.  They would be much better served in wind, solar, and incentives to reduce consumption instead of raising production at the price of the environment and public health.  Check back next week for the second installment: natural gas. Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean Coal Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean Coal Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean Coal Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean Coal Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean Coal Not Oil, but Not Green Either - Part 1: Clean Coal

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