I’ve documented plenty of reasons why coal use needs to be phased out, and “clean coal” is a joke. In case you need a recap…..The coal industry has gotten a lot of much deserved negative press ever since the coal slurry dam disaster that happened a few months ago. This brought to light that, maybe we should regulate our coal ash. Of course, no amount of regulation will ever make \”clean coal\” a reality, especially considering that it’s extraction often involves the very destructive mountain top removal. Oh..and coal is getting more expensive.
Now there is ANOTHER giant nail in the coffin. This nail is actually pretty sad. There’s been a new report released by the House Committee on Science and Technology which found that the Bush Administration was never actually seriously developing clean coal technology and their entire “FutureGen Program” was pretty much PR the entire time. So not only is there no such thing as “clean coal”, but there was never actually any legitimate attempt to develop it. This sets things back at least 10 years. Even if we got serious about it now, the report says that wide-scale deployment would be realistic in the year 2040. Thanks President Bush.
and if you can bear it…FULL REPORT
“In retrospect, FutureGen appears to have been nothing more than a public relations ploy for Bush Administration officials to make it appear to the public and the world that the United States was doing something to address global warming despite its refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.”
“Career staff produced a summary analysis by December 2007 that was entitled, “What “Plan B” would NOT accomplish” (emphasis in original). The concluding paragraphs are so compelling that they are worth quoting at length: Given the above delays [following analysis of how Plan B would slow technology development and deployment], it is reasonable to assume that proceeding with “Plan B” and without FutureGen, the availability of affordable coal fueled CCS plants would be delayed at least 10 years and will not allow widespread deployment of CCS until near 2040.”
“In abandoning the original concept, the Department of Energy left the country with no coherent strategy for carbon capture and sequestration—despite having fingers in many pots. Whether the new Administration and Congress should revive the original program, which was ready to begin work when the Department of Energy killed it, or move to some other initiative, is an open question. It is absolutely clear that the “Plan B” initiative sold to the public and the Congress by Secretary Bodman will not provide the kind of long-term benefits to the United States and the world needed to deal with global climate change. The end result of this trail of mismanagement? Progress on the great challenges to harness technology to build a greener energy future was stalled, and the United States abandoned its global leadership role. This is a disappointing legacy for the Department of Energy.”