Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Relax, We've Got Things Covered for 250 Years

Guest Post by Man of American Dissent

They’re at it again. Big Energy, is running another huge media blitz pushing “Clean Coal”. They’ve got an apparently sizeable ad buy playing TV commercials to promote their website and blog. They’re targeting young people and it really reminds me of Big Tobacco peddling cigarettes to kids. Smoke sells, especially when combined with mirrors. Clean coal? Give me a break. Well, according to Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (the group running the website), we'll have near zero emissions from Coal Fired Electrical Power Plants by 2025. I certainly believe that to be technologically feasible, but it’s very disingenuous since these folks have no real interest in doing anything of the sort. Consider the following from The Annenberg Public Policy Center:

• We estimate that Americans for Balanced Energy Choices spent approximately $9.1 million during the 108th Congress on legislative issue advertising.
• Americans for Balanced Energy Choices was the 8th highest spender for broadcast advertising, and 9th highest overall.
• We collected a total of three print ads and 2,657 broadcast ads sponsored by Americans for Balanced Energy Choices during the 108th Congress.

It's plain to see that they’re spending a ton of cash to get their message out about how “clean” coal is, while at the same time they’re lobbying Congress for new energy regulations that "ease emissions limits and would give the power plants more time to comply". You just gotta love it. Let’s give polluters more time to get into compliance with weaker protection standards. Sourcewatch gives us plenty of information on ABEC and it’s astroturf campaign tactics. Additionally, we can see that ABEC’s website is registered to a group actively opposed to the Kyoto Protocol.

We should be addressing energy issues in the manner outlined by Clean Air Now (a joint multi-state PIRG project).

"…the U.S. electric power industry emits billions of tons of pollution each year, much of which could be eliminated through increased use of modern pollution control technologies, a shift to cleaner burning fuels, or increased investment in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency."

In my opinion combining advanced pollution controls, cleaner fuels, renewable energy and higher efficiency standards is the way to go. I don’t think it’s realistic to believe that we’ll stop using fossil fuels until they no longer exist, but I guess with the 250 year supply of clean coal that we’ve got right here in the U. S. of A none of us really needs to worry about it.


Anonymous david said...

Why are humans so out of sync with Nature? We want to be cool in summer and hot in winter. We sleep in long after the sun is up and burn electric lights long into the night. We work the same hours a day in December as we do in June. We pollute the night sky with light to the point that nocturnal creatures are in serious decline --they like it dark!

One thing I always hated about the last round of Star Wars movies was the fascist architecture. Everywhere one saw massive rooms with five storey ceilings. How does one heat or cool such places? The bills most be "out of this world"! And the whole series was profligate with energy-- even Anakin's step-father uses a hovering wheelchair when remaining stationary; and that's supposedly on a planet where resources are scarce!

Of course, the other pet peeve I have with futurist worlds as depicted by Hollywood is that they are always devoid of simpler forms of life. I know this is often due to budgetary constraints, but barren planets with moonscape terrain send a bizarre message. I mean, what do these people eat? Where do the find potable water? How do they go on breathing without oxygen producing greenery?

My neighbour just had the silver maple in her backyard cut down. She wanted "more sunlight" even though she works 9-5 Mon-Fri. It was a five storey, 80 year old tree in good health. We'll all be dead before the sapling that replaced it reaches the same majestic size. What a waste! And yet when we burn coal or oil, we're doing a similar thing on an even grander scale. We're tossing concentrated plant-life onto a fire; former trees, grasses, and shrubs all compressed into black energy over several million years. Can't we show a little more respect for The Dead?

8:17 AM  
Blogger Giordano said...

'clean' coal = bury the CO2
But: One power station: 9000Tons/day coal in = 33,000 Tons/day CO2 out. (added Oxygen is the extra weight)
Needs compression and hightensile pipes. And where to bury it? If it leaks out it spreads silently and asphyxiates all in its path. Dont believe them when they claim 50% increase in electricity cost. More like 300%. Which is good, because cheap clean coal = heat death of majority of species. Including crops?

8:12 PM  

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