A little while back I praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for opposing new coal plants in his home state. Now he's clarified his position: he opposes new coal plants anywhere in the world. Word.
One grumpy note. Look at this:
Michael Yackira, president and chief executive officer of Sierra Pacific Resources, said his company "respectfully disagrees" with Reid's position. His company is seeking approval to build one of the plants.
"We believe what we'll be building is the cleanest coal-fired plant in the world" because of new technology, Yackira said.
"We must also have fossil fuel plants for reliability because wind and solar power is variable. We need all sorts of energy supplies to meet the needs of our customers," he added.
Here we have -- unchallenged by an opposing perspective -- two common myths propagated by the coal industry:
1. Coal is cheap and new technology can make it clean! Left unstated: once you add the new technology to make it "clean," it is no longer cheap. (For more on this, see Sean.)
2. Wind and solar are variable so we have to build new coal plants. Left unstated:
There is no ecologically or economically sound case for building lots of new coal plants. It's a quick, easy buck for some large corporations -- that's it. It screws the rest of us and our descendants.
No more new coal. Period.
This post first appeared on grist.org.
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