SHOCK Audio Unearthed OBAMA TELLS SAN FRANCISCO HE WILL BANKRUPT THE COAL INDUSTRY
Shocking Video - OBAMA WILL BANKRUPT THE COAL INDUSTRY - Energy Prices Will Sky Rocket
MARIETTA, OH -Sarah Palin unleashed a new attack today after an audio file of an interview Barack Obama did in January 2008 was reported on conservative blogs and linked on the Drudge Report. Palin accused the Democratic nominee of wanting to bankrupt the coal industry.
BY PAUL ROLFE
You're watching multisource environment news analysis from Newsy
For the first time ever, a report examines the life cycle costs of coal -- and the results might make you sick. Treehugger talked to Harvard Professor Paul Epstein when he announced his findings.
“Between the land disturbance of mountain top removal, the processing, the sludge and the slurry, waste and fly-ash ponds, we estimate that this is costing the American public... somewhere between a third and a half a trillion dollars per year in health costs and in deaths.”
The study says between $200 and $500 billion in extra costs created by the coal industry are passed on to taxpayers. In The Boston Globe, Epstein says policymakers should keep these impacts in mind when deciding our energy future.
“The public is unfairly paying for the impacts of coal use ... Our reliance on fossil fuels is proving costly for society, negatively impacting our wallets and our quality of life.”
But the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity says in a press release - this study ignores the positive effects of low-cost energy.
“Thanks in large part to coal - America’s most abundant domestically-produced fuel, our nation’s electricity prices have remained relatively stable and affordable for families and businesses.”
A writer for Smart Planet responds to that statement by asking -- so cheap electricity trumps environmental impact?
“Hmm, I guess it all evens out then? The money I save on electricity will help me pay for the problems my electricity creates? Makes me wonder what the final price tag of climate change will be.”
The Harvard study looked closely at mountain-top removal in West Virginia.
Mountain top removal is a process in which the tops of mountains are removed with explosives to reach the layers of coal underneath. The study found 1.4 million acres of land have been removed from summits in the Appalachian Mountains. (video source: ilovemountains****)
Communities near these mining sites have been fighting the coal companies for years. In a production from Swiftmedia funded by the Blessings Project Foundation, residents say -- they’re concerned for their health.
“They’re destroying our water, they’re contaminating all our water. Ya know? They’re blowing up all our land, and they’re polluting our air. And when they do that you’re not able to live in these areas.”
To put the cost in perspective - the Harvard study says if the additional costs of coal were factored into the price of electricity -- consumers could see their electric bills double... or triple.
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A deadly mine explosion in the providence of Henan, China killed dozens of miners and left several trapped or missing.
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We traveled to the heart of Pennsylvania coal country to talk to folks a the core of the coal industry and happened upon Rain Day 2008. Everyone in town was there and we got some great interviews.
The coal industry has provided beautiful reclamation and a truly small footprint of mining across West Virginia's 15 million acres. Grass, bushes and hardwood seedlings are reclaiming the land. Support the work of our coal miners.
Burning coal is a leading source of global warming pollution.
"GHG Emissions and Sinks 1990–2006,” US EPA 2008
Burning coal is the dirtiest way we produce electricity.
“Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Generation of Electric Power in the United States,” US DOE 2000.; “GHG Emissions and Sinks 1990-2006,” US EPA 2008
There are no homes in America powered by "clean" coal.
IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme CO2 Capture and Storage Database; Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, CO2 Capture and Storage Project Database
CO2 emissions from U.S. coal-based electricity are greater than emissions from all the cars and trucks in America.
“GHG Emissions and Sinks 1990-2006,” US EPA 2008
The coal industry is spending millions advertising "clean" coal, but not a single "clean" coal power plant exists in the U.S. today.
“Big Coal Campaigning to Keep Its Industry on Candidates' Minds,” Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2008; IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme CO2 Capture and Storage Database; Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, CO2 Capture and Storage Project Database
"While you might have heard the phrase ‘clean’ coal during the presidential campaign, it's actually an oxymoron."
Brian Williams, NBC News, Nov 18, 2008
There are roughly 600 coal plants producing electricity in the U.S. Not one of them captures and stores its global warming pollution.
“Electricity Facts,” US DOE 2008; IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme CO2 Capture and Storage Database; Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, CO2 Capture and Storage Project Database
"'Clean' coal is like a healthy cigarette."
Blan Holman, attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center in Charleson, S.C.
There is not a single large-scale demonstration "clean" coal plant in the U.S. today.
IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme CO2 Capture and Storage Database;
Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, CO2 Capture and Storage Project Database Virtually all the new coal plants that have been proposed will, just like their predecessors, release 100 percent of the CO2 they produce into the atmosphere, where it will linger—and contribute to global warming.
"Coal Power in a Warming World: A Sensible Transition to Cleaner Energy Options," Union of Concerned Scientists. Oct. 2008.
Although carbon sequestration has been the subject of considerable research and analysis, it has yet to be demonstrated in the form of commercial-scale, fully integrated projects at coal-fired power plants.
“Coal Power in a Warming World: A Sensible Transition to Cleaner Energy Options,” Union of Concerned Scientists. Oct. 2008.
An investment in wind power produces almost three times as many jobs as the same investment in coal power. And an investment in solar power produces almost four times as many jobs, and energy efficiency, almost thirty times as many jobs as coal power.
Based on analysis of the new energy economy released by Earth Policy Institute, Nov. 2008
"We don't have a plant here in the United States today that has commercially installed carbon capture technology."
Joe Lucas, Vice President of Communications, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). From: “Can Coal Be Clean? A Debate Between Michael Brune of Rainforest Action Network and Joe Lucas of American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.” Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report, Oct. 2008
"Without the price on greenhouse gas emissions that is delivered by cap-and-trade mechanisms, CO2 capture and storage will remain a daydream."
Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Shell. July 2008 Madrid. Shell, “Delivering Energy for Sustainable Growth. The European Perspective," The 19th World Petroleum Congress Plenary Session, Madrid, June 30, 2008.
Climate Campers embark on a mass action outside Barclays bank in Canary Wharf highlighting Barclays financing the arms trade and coal industry.
Part of the Climate Camp anti-bank holiday weekend.
New Technologies Help Make Coal More Environmentally Responsible
According to a recent study, the U.S. has approximately 200 years of coal reserves and 50% of America's power already comes from coal. Industry experts say clean coal plants mean less reliance on foreign sources of energy and more jobs. But how clean is "clean coal"?
Unlike the coal plants of the past that used combustion to burn coal, today's plants are using new technologies, like gasification, to transform coal into useful byproducts. Gasification is a chemical process that captures the CO2 in coal making it a more environmentally responsible form of power. In fact, the founders of Secure Energy are building a coal gasification plant in Decatur, IL that they say will be the cleanest coal plant in the world.
Produced for Siemens