Coal is NOT clean

March 1st, 2007

In today’s St. PPP:

Dubious about clean coal

Coal-burning power plants are the biggest producers of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Yet, federal and state governments are funding new coal gasification plants, such as the Mesaba Energy Project in Taconite, Minn. The project proposes to use “clean” coal technology that will have lower CO2 emissions than traditional plants, but there are no good examples to prove that assertion. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has agreed to have the state help fund Mesaba, increasing not just property taxes but also our contribution of greenhouse gases and our exposure to airborne and water pollutants — mercury, sulfur dioxide, soot particles, etc. Water used to cool the plants will eventually be dumped into the Mississippi, from which many of us get our drinking water, and increased particulate matter in the air will exacerbate respiratory conditions. “Clean” coal is antiquated technology gussied up with dubious promises.



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