While Durbin's eyes are on the prize of "38 billion tons of coal" that sit under our feet in the Illinois coal basin, he is missing the renewable energy revolution that is sweeping the rest of the nation.
Impeachment notwithstanding, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill this week that will send another $18 million down the "clean coal" rabbit hole in Illinois. The delusional symbolism couldn't be more obvious.
Instead of crisis management, we need to phase-out all wet storage of toxic coal ash, inspect all toxic coal ash storage and disposal units and enact federal regulation of all toxic coal ash storage and disposal.
With green jobs now positioned as "the solution" to both the economy and the climate, Obama has cover to take the politically expedient route of short-term green stimulus while ignoring serious climate policy.
The incoming Secretary of Energy will have the choice of committing billions of dollars to relaunch the shipwrecked FutureGen coal-fired plant, or allocating that amount of funding to launch a sustainable wind or solar clean jobs project in the same Illinois area.