Christmas Coal Myths

By Peter Andrew – ConservativeAmerican.org
Leading the way Right with unique and fun, conservative news and views.

People like to joke about coal at Christmas time. President Obama would rather get rid of it all together. That would again put him on the NAUGHTY list for the huge increase we would all have to pay in energy costs.

The American Coal Council is helping us this week to get rid of some of the myths you may have been told or taught about coal.

Myth 2 – There are no “clean coal” plants operating in the United States.

Fact: There are many examples of clean coal technologies operating throughout the U.S. and the world!

To be able to make the claim that there are no clean coal plants operating in the U.S., special interest groups have had to continually redefine the term “clean” to suit the needs of their latest marketing campaign and membership drive. The ACC points out the reality is that while coal use has more than doubled over the past 40 years, overall emissions of the six common pollutants on the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS ) list have decreased by more than 60%.

coal chart

Reductions like these have been achieved for a variety of reasons, including legislation, industry and public effort to reduce emissions, etc. The coal industry has been at the forefront of those efforts, implementing billions of dollars in efficiency upgrades and installing billions more in emissions reduction equipment. But that’s not all that the coal industry is doing – they’re not resting on their laurels (or their hardy’s… sorry. Had to be there). The industry is continuing to invest several billion more in clean coal research and clean coal technologies to provide even more reductions in emissions.

Keen eyes will pick up that the only emission listed on the EPA chart above to go up was CO2. However, as we described in Myth 1 yesterday, trying to replace coal with renewables doesn’t always mean CO2 emissions will go down (sometimes they even go up!) If we are serious about reducing CO2 emissions, we will look at other creative options, like reworking or rescinding the New Source Review (NSR) rule. As currently written, the NSR rule threatens any utility that attempts to upgrade or update their coal-fueled plants with fines, expensive and drawn out audits and reviews, and potential mandates for prohibitively expensive rebuilds and changes. The NSR rule effectively sacrifices the good on the altar of perfection. For years, the NSR rule has actually provided a disincentive for utility plant efficiency improvements – the exact opposite of the rule’s stated intent.

Tomorrow, we’ll tackle another coal myth.

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