Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Clean Coal still polluting my TV

OK, I'm finally back on my soap box.

Clean Coal does not exist. See my previous post.

What to do is easy to say, hard to do:

  • Build no more coal plants unless they have a working carbon sequestering program that is operational before the plant is turned on.
  • Prohibit the expansion of capacity of all coal plants without working sequestering programs.
So what does this give us? It closes out the option for "cheap" electricity. It will drive everyone's rates up. So what do we build? Expand?

  • Conserve. Up energy requirements across the board. Put a big prize out for anyone who can design an energy efficient dryer.
  • Allow natural gas plants to be built and expand capacity. Allow liquid natural gas to be imported. Natural gas still produces carbon dioxide, and is getting more expensive every day. But it's well understood.
  • Subsidize solar and wind power. Support the development of saving energy when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing to lower the requirements for other energy sources.
  • Allow replacement of existing nuclear plants with newer, safer nuclear plants. If and when "Generation IV" plants come on line, and if they really shrink the wastes down, we can expand them if they are cheaper than solar/wind.
Importing liquid natural gas and building nuclear power plants put me at odds with the Sierra Club, which I'm a member of. They do support conservation and renewables, but their policies would leave a hole in our energy needs big enough to demand more coal.