The whole world is…

November 3rd, 2008

… watching… holding its breath. I’ve not seen such a quiet time on the internet since the September 12, 2001. Lots of people are working on the election. I voted a couple weeks ago, and will be watching from Biden-land (a foreign land, for sure), and for me it feels over. And with a good result.

The difficult thing I see is getting Obama away from his coal and utility buddies/funders, turning him from his unreasonable support of unclean coal. He and Biden (who should know better, NRG’s IGCC plan went down in flames in Delaware and they chose WIND!) have been falling over themselves to show they support coal gasification more than McCain, and that’s been disgusting. Every $$$ solicitation I get, I respond with a “gentle reminder” about the economic and environmental disaster called coal gasification. There will be work to do, to hold his feet to the… turbine blades… yeah, that’s it, not the fire. Obama, stand up, don’t bow to the coal companies! Meanwhile, people who should know better are advocating belief that he’s lying about coal, that he’s really against it. That’s just plain delusional. His positions are what they are, and yes, they’re not what I want.  But it could be worse:

Despite Obama’s support of coal, the companies are still worried. This came over the wire from the “Western Business Roundtable” regarding coal gasification — you can see the desperation in the slams of Obama, as someone on the coal list said, the “coal companies will give up their profits when we pry it from their cold dead hands.” I’m sure they already understand that coal is dead, dead, dead, and there’s no need for this. As if Obama is the one making CCS unobtainable and costly? Give me a break…

Western Business Roundtable

For Immediate Release: Nov. 3, 2008
Contact: Britt Weygandt, 303-216-9278

Obama Plan To “Bankrupt” Clean Coal Would Cost Hundreds of Thousands Of Jobs

Business Coalition Calls On Other Politicians To Distance Themselves

Denver, CO (Nov. 3, 2008) — A bipartisan coalition of business leaders is calling on Governors, state legislators and Members of Congress publicly express their opposition before tomorrow’s election to proposals to “bankrupt” the U.S. coal industry and threaten to put out of work several hundred thousand Americans who work in coal-related industries.

The call was issued by the Western Business Roundtable following news reports that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama intends to make it so costly to build advanced clean coal power plants with carbon capture and sequestration that it will “bankrupt” any company that tries to do so.

“We are calling upon Democrats, Republicans and Independents from coast to coast to publicly express their support for advanced clean coal power generation and to distance themselves from those who say that we should bankrupt the coal industry,” said Britt Weygandt, Executive Director of the Western Business Roundtable. “A lot of Americans are going to be listening in the next 24 hours to see which elected leaders stand up for clean coal and which don’t.”

Obama’s comments regarding coal were made during an interview with the San Francisco Examiner earlier this year, and is available in streaming audio form here.

In the interview, Obama says the following:

“Let me sort of describe my overall policy. What I’ve said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else’s out there. I was the first to call for a 100 percent auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches. The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

Weygandt said: “Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s election, elected officials at all levels need to stand up for a robust clean coal coal option for America,” Weygandt said. “They should stand up for affordable and reliable electricity, for a stable and reliable grid, and for the hundreds of thousands of American workers in this industry.”

# # #

What utter bullshit… NO NEW COAL PLANTS!

One Response to “The whole world is…”

  1. Harry Jaeger Says:

    Good to see that you are still at it.

    I heard at a recent conference that Mesaba IGCC is back on track, and will get permit to build plant early next year.

    What about the McCain/Palin solution: 45 new nuclear plants solve everything, including dependence on imported oil! Confirms what Westinghouse and GE promoted 40 years ago – The Electric Economy based on nukes – enough cheap power – without CO2 – to charge all electric cars and trucks. (Trouble is that at $5-$7 billion per plant, power will be anything but cheap – even if fuel is free.)

    Carol, maybe you and Boone T. are right – wind and gas are the answer.

    But when the dust clears and we have to live with what we have – clean coal via IGCC will be seen to be the choice, and Obama appears to know it.


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