Coal

War on coal: A pretty good idea.

War on coal: A pretty good idea.

the only way to consider new coal-fired plants a remotely plausible undertaking is to completely ignore the social costs of burning the coal. By the same token, simply throwing all my garbage into my neighbor’s back yard could look like a cheap and appealing alternative to proper trash disposal if I were allowed to completely ignore the costs to my neighbor.

Getting rid of direct subsidies and then attacking indirect subsides is all that is need to make wind and solar competitive.

Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

a series of studies has called these stereotypes into question. Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant-a by-product from burning coal for electricity-carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.

From Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

There is a note attached about the calculations but this is tangential to the point. The alternative to atomic power is coal, not wind and solar. You can’t count of the wind to blow and the sun can be blocked by weather. Coal will always burn and will atoms always release heat during fusion.

China Far Outpaces U.S. in Building Cleaner Coal-Fired Plants

But largely missing in the hand-wringing is this: China has emerged in the past two years as the world's leading builder of more efficient, less polluting coal power plants, mastering the technology and driving down the cost. While the United States is still debating whether to build a more efficient kind of coal-fired power plant that uses extremely hot steam, China has begun building such plants at a rate of one a month.
China Far Outpaces U.S. in Building Cleaner Coal-Fired Plants - NYTimes.com

China is switching to cleaner burning coal power plants. We can now retire the old canard that even if we lower carbon emissions, China won’t; therefore we shouldn’t.

the Saudi Arabia of coal

If the vast, empty plain of eastern Montana is the Saudi Arabia of coal, then Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a prairie populist with a bolo tie and an advanced degree in soil science, may be its Lawrence
He is also promoting wind energy and the use of biofuels, using oil from crops like soybeans as a blend. The governor signed a measure this year that requires Montana to get 10 percent of its energy from wind power by 2010, a goal he said would be reached within a few years. Still, the Big Sky State, with a population under a million, has fewer people than the average metro area of a midsize American city, and its influence is limited. The governor acknowledged as much
From the NYT