Clean coal: wave of the future or empty rhetoric?

AuthorBlock, Ben
PositionEYE ON EARTH - Brief article

"Clean coal" advertisements became pervasive across the United States in 2008, promising an abundant, cheap, and environmentally sound solution to climate change. Yet clean coal is not currently economical, leading many environmentalists to criticize the advertisements as deceptive.

For coal to remain viable in a warming world, observers say, the research funding for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), the leading clean coal technology, must increase. Otherwise, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to rise to levels of irreversible damage if the current rate of coal burning continues.

A recent Center for American Progress (CAP) study found that the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity--48 coal and utility companies--is investing US$3.5 billion into projects that capture and store emissions, including many that have yet to begin. The industry countered with a list of more than 80 projects that capture, monitor, or mitigate carbon emissions. The list's only completed CCS project is a North Dakota natural gas plant...

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