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VIDEO: Chief Coal Industry Lobbyist Won’t Say If Coal Causes Climate Change

Memo Pad Politics

VIDEO: Chief Coal Industry Lobbyist Won’t Say If Coal Causes Climate Change

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coal mining, greenhouse gases outdoors

by Lee Fang, Republic Report

Does burning coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fuel sources on the planet, contribute to climate change?

That simple question stumped the industry’s most prominent advocate, Robert “Mike” Duncan, at a Colorado mining conference last week. Asked twice by Republic Report, Duncan first said that a “lot of people believe” that coal causes climate change, before replying, “I’m not answering your question.”

Duncan, the president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), gave a talk to a room filled with mining industry executives about the dangers of new EPA rules concerning greenhouse emissions. ACCCE, which represents the largest coal companies in the nation, has pushed back against the administration’s coal power plant rules. In an interview with E&E TV in January, Duncan said that instead of the EPA rules, his industry could take a gradual approach to reducing emissions with carbon capture sequestration, which he claimed can “make coal even cleaner.”

With Duncan’s support for carbon sequestration in mind, we asked him about the very pollutant he hopes to prevent. Watch the video below:

Critics argue that carbon sequestration technology — which is designed to store carbon from coal plants underground — is untested and unlikely to ever safely contain carbon pollution in perpetuity. As DeSmogBlog notes, “a 2012 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science concludes that even a small earthquake event in the US has the potential to release stored carbon back into the atmosphere, making ‘large-scale CCS a risky, and likely unsuccessful, strategy for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.’”

In a letter to The New York Times editor last year, Duncan argued that coal regulations would have “no meaningful impact on global climate change” because “closing down our entire coal fleet would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by just 3 percent.” Such a small change, Duncan wrote, would only reduce global average temperatures by about .03 degrees Fahrenheit. Such a statement, one might infer, would suggest that Duncan understands that burning coal contributes to climate change.

ACCCE has been less than upfront about its policy positions in the past. During the 2009 debate over cap-and-trade legislation, a subcontractor to the ACCCE was caught sending fake letters, using the letterhead of a local NAACP chapter and other civil rights groups, to lawmakers. The letters expressed opposition to the legislation. At a hearing concerning the scandal, ACCCE again misled lawmakers, claiming falsely that the group never took a position on Waxman-Markey, the cap-and-trade legislation.

ACCCE represents Alpha Natural Resources, American Electric Power, Arch Coal, BNSF Railway, Consol Energy, CSX, Peabody Energy, Southern Company, and other coal-related corporations.

This article originally appeared on Republic Report.

Photo: Bread for the World via Flickr

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45 Comments

  1. Daniel Jones April 28, 2014

    shutting down the coal fleet.. that savings is not from not burning the coal! That’s solely from the fleet’s emissions being cut off!

    Reply
  2. FredAppell April 28, 2014

    “A gradual approach to reducing emissions with carbon capture sequestration”. That’s typical of what a con man would say. Hell, why even propose that at all if he’s so convinced that coal emissions would only account for .03 of the total temperatures in the atmosphere if they were to shut down. What he fails to understand is that climatologists have been saying for years that a few degrees one way or the other can upset the balance of nature. Yes, some changes to the climate are in fact cyclical but why should we continue to exacerbate the problem? The bottom line is that the industry is much too lucrative to change direction. If alternate technologies had been allowed to continue developing like they should have over the past 40 years we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. Unfortunately, the patents for these technologies were bought up by energy companies in order to quash competition.

    Reply
    1. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

      Curiously,defenders of the old Confederacy say that the Southern States should have been allowed to gradually slow down the use of slavery as its labor force.My response is this: If I am beating you with a bull whip,do you want me to stop or just slow down?

      Reply
      1. FredAppell May 1, 2014

        Excellent point Mark. Over the past decade all I’ve heard in regards to change from the conservatives is ” we shouldn’t go rushing into anything, we need to take the time to study this”,
        B/S, it’s a stalling tactic to anything they don’t like. How many fucking decades does it take to study the outcome of our actions? Christ, they make me sick, they really do! Meanwhile, while they stall, real harm continues to flourish. In spite of my angry rant, I don’t believe we can blindly pass laws either and hope they work, not all legislature from the Democrats is right all the time but I believe the intentions are good.

        Reply
        1. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

          Yeah,I don’t give the dems carte blanche either but for now they will have to do until a strong and viable third party arrives on the scene or the gop fades into obscurity.I am particularly angered by Obama’s sell out on issues of particular interest,not only on the environment but also regarding trade agreements,social programs,and internet freedom,to name but a few.I also agree with you about blind legislation but also believe we would do well with a sronger leader [considering the opposition] with a damn the bastards,lets get the job done attitude.
          It is too late for the President to turn it around because he let the repugs believe they can bully him and his motives about anything have become suspect.

          Reply
          1. FredAppell May 1, 2014

            I’m not sure anyone else will understand the meaning of your words but I do, loud and clear and I agree. President Obama is a good guy, I believe that in my heart but the rest of his presidency may prove to be ineffectual. He allows himself to be bullied, coerced or whatever by those with an opposite agenda. That’s not leadership nor is it an indictment against his character. The simple truth is that the inmates are running the asylum and they sense weakness…..
            Even his measures are only half measures designed to appease rather than create real and lasting change for the benefit of all.

            The only thing that I would caution you on is your statement that we would do well with a stronger leader, I don’t disagree at all but the
            downside to that is, that leader would in fact be construed a dictator, President Obama has been dealing with that label since day 1 and for some reason, it really seems to resonate with folks, their too damn gullible to believe otherwise. The guy can’t even take a shit without his detractors claiming his shit smells worse than everyone else’s.

            Reply
          2. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

            Little doubt that the racists are the cause of much of it,but I suspect the same crew were the ones along with corporatists and big financiers who opposed the methods that F.D.R. employed while pulling the country from the dung heap that their tight fisted attitudes engendered.And he got elected three times.Must have made the dirty bastards lose their minds,but his New Deal sure helped a lot of people.

            Reply
          3. FredAppell May 1, 2014

            Four times Bro! That was before term limits. Back then though, people were more patient, they understood that economic calamities take time to recover. By the way, a few years ago I was doing some research and came across an article discussing recessions that was written by an economist. His view was that recessions typically occur every 20 years or so and he had the historical events to back it up. Here’s something that right-wingers would find unpalatable, the Federal Government was instrumental in every recovery. I wish I could remember the name of the author, it would make my claim more credible. There was a reason why past presidents, Republicans and Democrats alike never saw fit to change FDR’s policies, you said it best, the New Deal helped a lot of people and it also aided in future recessions, that is until laws like the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed. Bill Clinton did that though I’m not sure why but I could probably make a few educated guesses. Very disappointing.

            Reply
          4. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

            Four times? My memory must have slipped a bit.Don’t worry about that authors name Fred,you are credible enough for me.I will have to see what I can find about Clinton and Glass-Steagall.Guess it just goes to show that there are bad apples in every barrel,some more than others.Good thing Bill left office with a surplus but makes one wonder how much that enabled Bush with his debacle.Enjoy your evening.

            Reply
          5. FredAppell May 1, 2014

            Mark, before I call it a night, I thought I’d let you know that it won’t be difficult for you to find the tie’s between Glass-Steagall and Clinton. Just google it and it will pop right up. I have a busy weekend ahead but I’ll try to get you the article of that economist. And thanks for the compliment, it means a lot. Mark, the thing that I like about you is your willingness and ability to think outside the box and our conversations always challenge me to do the very same. We’re a good combination. That’s what the memo is meant for, not an echo chamber, but to expand our thinking. You enjoy your night too buddy.

            Reply
          6. Mark Forsyth May 2, 2014

            Hey Fred,back at ya with the compliment thing.I am a poet[among other things],my writing requires that I use a bit of intuition and to know when I’m writing whether I need to go deeper in order to express the feeling or concept I’m trying to convey.On the surface a line may look and sound good but it might not tie in well with the rest of the piece,so I need to consider other possibilities or think outside the box,as you said.
            We might not solve the riddle of America’s problems here but I think at least between the two of us and perhaps some others,we establish at least a bit of consensus,and on the rare occasion we fail and disagree,we can do so amicably having already established that we do not place primary permanent importance upon temporary situations.
            When you have read a comment of mine where I have unloaded both barrels on some foolish troll,it is usually spontaneous and off the cuff.When I reread the comment I often think- I could have done better than that.Hope your weekend is productive.I will be prepping my manuscript for submission to a potential publisher.Be well.

            Reply
          7. FredAppell May 2, 2014

            Mark, I just discovered something about you that pleases me to no end. Two days ago you admitted to being a Socialist, THANK YOU! I knew there was something about you I liked but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I’ve been following Socialist principles for the better part of a decade. I admitted to being one through one of my very first posts on the National Memo. Needless to say, it wasn’t received well so I decided to never mention it again. Although, I do drop subtle hints often. Maybe you caught those hints for what they are, maybe not, but I’ll no longer hide behind a false representation of myself on here. My friends and family support my choice but I had to be discreet about my comments. At any rate, if I opened up a Pandora’s Box or misread your meaning in any way, just know it wasn’t my intention at all. The last thing I want to do is cause you harm and embarrassment in any way. However, I am thrilled that you’ve chosen to follow my comments no matter what your politics are.

            Reply
          8. Mark Forsyth May 2, 2014

            Well Fred,as I’m sure you know,I am a dedicated anti-fascist.Unfortunately these days there is a great deal of confusion and incorrect information that is circulated concerning fascism,communism,and socialism and many folks who are undereducated about such philosophy’s fail to differentiate one from the other,while others,including both Democrats and republicans equate socialists with communists.Some of this is deliberate and some is just ignorance of facts.Much of the confusion stems from the names that both the Nazi party and the Communist party used to identify themselves using the word “socialist” . In both cases it was a colossal hoodwink designed to appeal and attract a membership that would be more complacent,pliant ,and receptive to the party propaganda as well as its other methods.
            Obviously it worked,as some folks are still falling for it and never wake up to the totalitarianism inherent in both forms.
            One might also blame the dumbing down of people and collectively are not as informed about the motivation and the influences of our country’s forefathers.Consider that they were some of the greatest minds to come out of the age of enlightenment which European aristocracy had tried to suppress.They were seeking a system of governance that was more egalitarian and beneficial to the people,ie-social contract.They put their focus on democratic ideals.Democracy by its inherent nature is social because it is concerned with the betterment and general welfare of the people.With that in mind,I think that no one should be ashamed to call themselves a socialist or perhaps a social democrat in which case it has nothing to do with a political party, at least not at heart.
            Sorry for the longwinded reply but I felt the need to delineate some things.I understand the fear that some people might have about admitting to being a socialist.One would have second thought about it where I live.New York state may be blue,but this part is a red stronghold.Interestingly neither my family members or some of the more sophisticated folks around here have needed me to tell them about my social proclivities.
            If I could end this Fred with a bit of humor I would say how glad I am to know you,comrade.Then you could tell me,as long as it’s done humorously,to go fuck myself.Ha! Ha!
            Well that’s it for me tonight pal,have yourself a good weekend,I will be cooking.

            Reply
          9. BenAround June 7, 2014

            You are right! Hitler was a good guy to those who agreed with his agenda. Stalin was a wonderful guy, “Uncle Joe,” to his supporters. And Obama just defied Congress with his prisoner swap and does what he darn well pleases with his buddy Holder in charge of who gets prosecuted and who doesn’t. So, don’t complain that the idea that he does not consider himself bound by the rule of law is completely unfounded.

            Reply
          10. BenAround June 7, 2014

            Your argument for the Imperial Presidency is compelling! Makes the goose-stepping music start to play for the Fuehrer who can just get things done, darn it! (and not just anything–only the things you agree with) The reason that the conservatives are not going along with more so-called “progress” is because the suggestion is to do deliberate harm to the economy on the speculative notion that a fraction of a percent of a degree of warming will be worse. The world runs on cheap energy. Fossil fuel is relatively inexpensive. Nuclear fuel can be even cheaper but your ilk are knee-wobbling terrified of it–the China Syndrome drama has stunted innovation in that area to the point where even the French are far ahead of us in managing the waste in relative safety. Hydro power is limited and wind and sun are inconsistent–besides which, electricity doesn’t age well in storage containers. So, unless you want to go back to when the world ran on cheap labor, we need to find a viable cheap storable alternative before we cut off the fossil fuel branch that we are sitting on.

            Reply
          11. Mark Forsyth June 7, 2014

            I have an idea for you and your ILK.GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE.We refuse to let you continue with your global degradation and we do not swallow the lies of trolls like yourself here on the Memo.Go peddle your bullshit somewhere else.You’ll get no traction here.

            Reply
  3. Sand_Cat April 28, 2014

    Does anyone really think this @$$#01e and his ilk will ever admit to such a thing?

    Reply
    1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh April 29, 2014

      Nah, but they are perfectly wiling to put the blame on Cattle farts!

      Reply
  4. paulyz April 29, 2014

    Before we hurt the economy of the U.S. by crippling fuel emission standards, we need to go after the countries that harm the environment much more like China & others.

    Reply
    1. jointerjohn April 29, 2014

      I prefer leading through innovation and example over being the hypocritical bully. If we pulled together the trillions of dollars we have squandered being a hypocritical bully, we would be far beyond burning coal already. If you really want to send a message of disapproval to China, stop buying their junk.

      Reply
  5. Bill Thompson April 29, 2014

    At the end of the day there are certain realities that must be faced most daunting being the world’s energy demand will double in the next 50 years. Due to finite oil and soon to be natural gas supplies we can either burn coal while expanding the renewable energy policies that are present. Or we can take the long view as France has done in fact they are the world’s leader in low carbon emission energies. While solar and wind are important add ons to the mix of low -CO2 energy sources. They are unreliable and will never be able to create what is called base load. Wind and solar rely on base load plants which can either be gas coal or Hydro. Nuclear energy is the only way forward the environmentalists have shun this from the beginning but in fact it is the only zero CO2 admitting form of baseload energy available other than Hydro. New nuclear technologies are being worked on as we speak one of the more promising are the small modular reactors. They are inexpensive, the size of tractor-trailers built off-site completely self-contained and will run for 20 years without refueling or maintenance similar to the Navy’s nuclear submarine reactors. Also recycling technologies have advanced to the point where we previously burned only 5% of our spent fuel. New technologies will allow what was once 95% waste to be burnt down to 5% waste. Reducing the half-life from thousands of years to only a couple of hundred. As an example of present-day technology nuclear waste as compared to coal, one person life time energy consumption in the form of coal would equal six train cars and there is still the coal ash to contend with. In comparison to nuclear waste one person’s lifetime energy consumption would fit in a 12 ounce Coke can.
    Keep in mind what ever zero CO2 producing technology is eventually decided upon it will take 50 or 60 years for that technology to be built and implemented and be made the norm. We shuffle our feet and bury our heads in the sand creating great peril to this planet. It is time that the coal, oil and gas industries stop promoting fear of nuclear power. It is also time that the environmentalists open up their mind as to the new technologies that are presently available, oddly enough the environmentalists are one of the tools the energy produces use against the nuclear industry.

    Reply
    1. BenAround April 30, 2014

      Now you are talking! It has always been so ironic to me that the liberal hysteria over clean nuclear power is logically at odds with equally shrill liberal hysteria over dirty fossil fuel power. You would almost think that what liberal eco-freaks really want is to go back 4 millenia to the Egyptian Khufu economy of cheap labor instead of cheap energy. I can tell you this planet will sustain a lot fewer people in the mathematics of Marxism–i.e.; an economy based on units of cheap labor. Maybe that is what they really want–fewer people. the problem for them is that, when the economic apocolypse comes, liberal values are the first to go out the window. Human nature is fundamentally wired for survival and self-interest. The only reason liberal fantasies of Utopia can entertain themselves in a relatively stable and non-violent country is because we have a surplus of cheap energy and cheap food (based on cheap energy to fuel the tractors). Take cheap energy away and civilization falls to the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As Bill points out, the only reliable sources of clean energy that can sustain base load are hydro and nuclear. Hydro is finite and eco-freaks don’t like us to dam the rivers. Thanks for all the fish! Eco-freaks with antiquated China Syndrome fears playing in their heads have also put this country decades behind on development of nuclear. So, the anti-fossil fuel contingent has been the biggest enemy of a transition to clean energy because they are also against any realistic clean alternative. Just one example of self-righteous but self-destructive liberal insanity. There are many others.

      Reply
      1. ralphkr April 30, 2014

        Bill & Ben, you have both ignored the most stable source of clean energy: The ocean. The ocean constantly changes level 24 hours a day through waves and tides and can generate immense amounts of electrical power with zero carbon footprint.

        Reply
        1. Bill Thompson April 30, 2014

          ralphkr I would agree with your statement and assessment it can be part of the solution but not the whole solution. Logistics would dictate that the energy consumption be next to water. Transmission is one of the big drawbacks to both solar and wind.
          I am unaware of any present power supplies being produced by the changing tides of the ocean are you able to give me an example?

          Reply
          1. ralphkr April 30, 2014

            There is one version designed by Ocean Power Technologies in Oregon utilizing a buoy to generate power that has been completely stalled because of the permit process failure so it is now starting in
            Australia.

            Another company, Ocean Renewable Power, in Maine uses a different technology to generate electricity from tidal power and has been on line since 9/2013. Another company has been operating in the UK since 1994 (also using turbines) and I have read of experiments using floats & levers to operate generators (wave power) that appear promising but I don’t recall the entities involved. The one thing they all seem to have in coming is lack of funding.

            Reply
          2. Bill Thompson April 30, 2014

            I look forward to researching the information you gave me thank you

            Reply
      2. Bill Thompson April 30, 2014

        Ben your response is actually part of the problem. Unfortunately Hydro is finite not infinite as you suggest, note the declining levels of water in the Colorado River and the lakes that were once filled almost to capacity. Our energy debate has become so politicized as your response demonstrates that nothing useful can be accomplished. For the record I do consider myself a liberal but very informed in the subject of energy.
        The burning of any source of fossil fuel will eventually destroy this planet and return the air and waters to the levels that once existed before life as we know it. CO2 over the course of billions of years has been condensed and buried in the ground in doing so it cleaned the air and oxygen levels capable of sustaining life were born. As we continue to burn fossil fuel coal being the worst of the offenders we continue to release CO2 that was once contained and re-pollute the planet. Note burning coal releases copious amounts of radiation into the air, while a nuclear power plant releases nothing. The safeguards on nuclear power in the United States of America have been read double. New technologies allow for a plant without power to do a slow shut down without cooling water.
        My son in nuclear engineer now pursuing his PhD at Rensselaer polytechnical institute (RPI) is actively trying to educate the public both Democrat and Republican both conservative and liberal. The fear and misinformation is pervasive in all walks of life and political leanings. He is starting from the ground up, being an Eagle Scout himself he works with the Boy Scouts every chance he gets. He does pilgrimages to Washington DC and speaks to both Republicans, Democrats and independents and tries to educate them to the peril we all face ecologically. Civil and factual conversation is necessary for all sides to be educated, in the end pitting groups or ideologies against one another will serve no purpose other than to destroy this planet.
        Respectfully Bill

        Reply
  6. idamag April 29, 2014

    The industry provides jobs and when an industry provides jobs, it gets support of the areas who need the jobs. However, I remember coal furnaces. There was always a coal tar smell in the house and the walls needed washing all the time. That smells and that residue gets into the atmosphere. When we change the face of employment, in an area, we need to make sure those who are affected are educated to do something else. Each time technology destroys one enterprise, it makes more jobs in the field of that technology and those workers, skilled in that technology are needed. Right now there are technical jobs wanting because of lack of labor skilled in that field. Reading in newspaper archives, there was a big hew and cry against the railroads because they were destroying the teamsters who made tier living hauling freight by horses, mules, and wagons. Time moves on whether we do or not.

    Reply
    1. Allan Richardson April 29, 2014

      Where do you think that infamous London fog in all those Victorian novels came from? And it was WORSE in industrial towns like Liverpool than in London.

      Reply
      1. Kurt CPI April 30, 2014

        That’s not anything like a valid comparison. Modern technologies, especially those that are just now beginning to surface, render comparison of the coal-fired boilers of today with the poorly aspirated coal fires that produced the infamous “London fog” meaningless. There is so much advancement in the area of emission-reduction for carbon-based energy. We need the energy. There’s nothing that can replace it, even at 10 times the cost. And even that wouldn’t replace the useful byproducts.

        Reply
    2. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

      The labor force for the West Virginia coal industry has been drastically reduced in recent years due to union busting tactics used by the coal companies.They can thank Massey Energy for that piece of work as well as for the loss of life in mine disasters resulting from the sub-standard maintenance and enforcement of safety procedures.

      Reply
  7. charleo1 April 29, 2014

    Since the T-Party managed to trounce the Republican Party, with a lot of financial backing from the fossil fuel sector. The position of the new Party rulers has moved the debate on climate change, from cap, and trade, a
    dubious solution at best. To taking the issue completely off the table. By
    denying the science, and denying the overwhelming evidence that the warming of the Earth is not only real. But that man, in his unprecedented
    volume of carbon being released by the burning of fossil fuels, is the
    source of the problem. It’s classic T-Party strategy. When an issue arises, that might require them to familiarize themselves with the facts, and then make tough, and sometimes unpopular decisions. In other words, do
    what is often referred to as lead. They’d rather the Kochs, and Exon-
    Mobil set the agenda. While they continue to work on their own priorities.
    Such as, purifying the Party rank, and file. Consolidating and entrenching
    political gains. Making sure those that fit the T-party’s ideology are well
    financed in the primary elections. For there is where they found the chink
    in the armor of the Grand Old Party. Where they continue to dance with
    those that brought them to the ball. It’s how they killed even the remotest
    of possibilities, that the most perilous environmental challenge to ever
    present itself. That will come to threaten mankind’s very survival, will not
    even be addressed. We as a Country, find ourselves in a very dire place.
    We are paralyzed. Capable of motion only when absolutely necessary.
    And even then, the danger must be right upon us. And only at the last possible moment do we avoid catastrophe.

    Reply
    1. BenAround April 30, 2014

      Man’s survival is far more likely to be threatened by starvation when the electricity goes off and irrigation pumps fail and there is no cheap fuel for the farm equipment than it is by a couple tenths of a degree rise in the average temperature. Pull your brain out and start using it to understand what our current properous lifestyle is based on and do the math on the available forms of clean energy, the supply and demand for energy, and where food really comes from before you buy it at your upscale Whole Foods store.

      Reply
      1. charleo1 April 30, 2014

        The world now uses fossil fuels to supply 86% of it’s energy needs. In the best case scenario, that means there will be an energy supply crisis in the next 75 to 100 years, if alternative sources are not developed, and utilized. And, there’s every reason to start, and support that process now. So the electric irrigation pumps, and the farm tractor, can continue to produce plentiful, and affordable food. In a world that gets a little hungrier all the time. And while fossil fuels will unavoidably provide the bulk of the world’s energy for the immediate future. Increasing efficiency, while we use cleaner sources of fuel, like natural gas, just makes common sense. Even if one decides to ignore the science supporting climate change. Or downplays it, as merely a “couple of tenths of a degree.” We ignore science at our own peril. The two, one tenths of one degree, is only the beginning of a process that will be essentially irreversible, and wreak havoc on our entire eco-system, and weather patterns, for hundreds of years.

        Reply
    2. Todd Nelson April 30, 2014

      All the truth tellers are asking of you global warming Chicken Littles is proof. Not computer models, not belief, proof. What IS provable is there hasn’t been any rise in global temperature in 18 years. What is also provable by observation is there has been 2/10 of 1 degree rise in global temperature since 1904. So, please show us all some proof of any global warming in the last 10 years. Funny thing though, there isn’t any proof because there hasn’t been any.

      Reply
      1. charleo1 April 30, 2014

        I am not a scientist of any kind. So all I can say in response
        to your concerns that people are being somehow misled
        about this. Is the overwhelming agreement among those
        who study such things, about what the data that has been,
        and continues to be collected, tells them about what is happening to the Earth’s climate. I also understand, the
        profound effect, and the high stakes involved for the fossil
        fuel industries. So, I’m not surprised they would attempt to
        put some numbers out there to muddy the waters, and
        give the impression that there is a legitimate debate raging
        on about this within the scientific community. And that,
        hasn’t actually been the case, for at least 10 years.

        Reply
      2. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

        97% of the worlds Climate Scientists agree that we are experiencing man made global warming and have the evidence to back it up.Dolts refuse to recognize or accept the proof when it is offered. So,please hang on to your precious little 3%.

        Reply
  8. Mark Forsyth April 29, 2014

    Clean coal is a fallacy and those who promote it are that which should be sequestered.

    Reply
    1. Kurt CPI April 30, 2014

      They said that about diesel just a few years ago. But in the last two years, Cummins has produced a diesel engine that is nearly zero emission (google “cummins zero emissions”). Lower than hybrids! So just because “clean coal” is not be a reality today doesn’t mean it’s impossible or even far off.

      Reply
      1. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

        I suggest you take another look at the photo at the top of this article.Compared to other places that have been ruined by lax and careless coal industry practices,the photo appears rather tame until one realizes exactly what is taking place.The very extraction methods are environmentally harmful and coal energy will never be acceptable.

        Reply
        1. Kurt CPI May 1, 2014

          Fair enough, but the article’s first line asks if “burning coal” contributes to global warming, and that was the angle I was addressing. Coming from NW Washington State, I’ve seen the devastation from the clear-cut logging of millions of acres over the last 100 years. But, since the spotted owl controversy, logging on state lands has virtually stopped. You’d be amazed at how the green has returned over 20 years. True, it’s second growth – not the quality of the “old growth”, the product of multi-generational natural selection, but it’s trees, it’s green (actually significantly greener than the old growth), and it has at least turned around the contribution to global warming created by the clear-cuts it has now overgrown.
          Gas and Diesel engines contribute to global warming, but we’re so dependent on them that it would be suicide – literally – to ban them. Coal, or the energy it produces, is much the same. Wind and solar can’t begin cover the losses. Nuclear energy, yes, but the infrastructure that would have to be built to replace all the coal-fired turbines would be no small, or inexpensive, undertaking. Putting out the fire to stop the smoke, then freezing to death as a result, will certainly result in less smoke – but there are other costs to consider.

          Reply
          1. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

            I agree that there are no simple answers.The fossil fuel industry’s days are numbered though I expect it will continue for a good long while and I don’t expect to ever leave the use of gasoline behind in my lifetime.
            Nuclear energy has no less opponents than coal and for good reason.The active radiation life of spent fuel rods is interminable and storage citing is also problematic.People would be at least a bit friendlier towards coal if the industry didn’t fight so much against regulations designed to make coal mining and coal fired production plants safer for the environment and the people affected.
            I say that until the industry is more compliant as well as honest,that coal is definitely a NO GO.

            Reply
  9. BenAround April 30, 2014

    The earth has been warming and glaciers melting since the last ice age. And, as the ice receded from this continent, I can only imagine that liberal cave dwellers were dancing around their campfires celebrating their role in warming things up.

    Reply
    1. Mark Forsyth May 1, 2014

      Careful you don’t hurt yourself with those mental gymnastics.

      Reply
  10. Todd Nelson April 30, 2014

    Since there hasn’t been ANY global warming in 18 years, and only 2/10/of one degree F rise in temp since 1904,it would be pure speculation on Mr. Duncan’s part as to coal possibly being a cause of non existent global warming.

    Reply

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