Dirty Hands and Clean Coal?

In an extremely good (and highly recommended) article, Environmental News Service is reporting that there is some serious cash supporting getting environmental organizations in line behind so-called “Clean Coal” (what should be called: Less Dirty Coal) and massive investments to explore the potential for carbon sequestration.   Carbon sequestration is a long-shot, which puts off implications and investments and responsibilities and consequences ‘out into the future’, thus is loved by industry and politicians, but it shouldn’t be liked by anyone really concerned about reducing future risk.

So, who are we talking about perhaps having some dirty hands?

National Resources Defense Council for example

The Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC, which earned its reputation as a shadow government by watchdogging EPA, now shares EPA’s giddy optimism toward carbon sequestration. In a letter to a California legislator, NRDC’s George Peridas asserts that carbon sequestration can be “perfectly safe.”

And NRDC lawyer David Hawkins was quoted recently saying carbon sequestration can be carried out with “very very small risks.”

NRDC has a $437,500 grant from the Joyce Foundation to promote carbon sequestration on industry’s behalf.

Or, how about some others, looking at the Joyce Foundation’s grant list.

 Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development Inc.
Minneapolis, MNAmount: $99,400.00
Length: 1 yr.

URL: gpisd.net

To brief Midwest lawmakers and regulators about how advanced coal technologies are currently deployed in Europe and encourage their support for similar adoption here.
Clean Air Task Force Inc.
Boston, MAAmount: $55,000.00
Length: 1 yr.

To support a delegation of Midwest policy makers, industry representatives, and environmental groups to visit European coal gasification projects and meet with European counterparts.

Clean Air Task Force Inc.
Boston, MAAmount: $60,000.00
Length: 1 yr.

URL: www.catf.us

To retain local counsel and technical experts to appear in the licensing hearings for a proposed IGCC project.
Izaak Walton League of America Inc.
St. Paul, MNAmount: $350,000.00
Length: 2 yrs.

URL: www.IWLA.org

To continue to encourage the deployment of advanced coal generation in Minnesota and to promote policies that enable and encourage carbon capture and storage.

Union of Concerned Scientists Inc.
Cambridge, MAAmount: $75,000.00
Length: 1 yr.

URL: ww.ucsusa.org

To support its efforts to study and highlight the financial risks of future carbon dioxide emission limits.
CUB Consumer Education and Research Fund
Chicago, ILAmount: $75,000.00
Length: 1 year

URL: cuboard.org

To promote new policies supporting coal gasification and carbon sequestration for new electric generation in Illinois.

Clean Air Task Force Inc.
Boston, MAAmount: $787,500.00
Length: 21 mos.

URL: www.catf.us

To promote Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle for the next generation of coal plants in the upper Midwest.
Clean Wisconsin Inc.
Madison, WIAmount: $500,000.00
Length: 1 year

URL: www.wiendecade.org

To oppose conventional coal plants proposed in Wisconsin and promoting coal gasification with sequestration as an alternative. The Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board would be a partner in the intervention and campaign.

Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development
Minneapolis, MNAmount: $437,500.00
Length: 21 mos.

URL: gpisd.net

To support the efforts of its Coal Gasification Working Group.
National Wildlife Federation
Reston, VAAmount: $122,700.00
Length: 21 mos.

URL: www.nwf.org/

To build support in Indiana and Michigan for coal gasification as an alternative toconventional coal-burning power plants. Indiana Wildlife Federation and Michigan United Conservation Clubs would be partners in this effort.

Natural Resources Defense Council Inc.
New York, NYAmount: $437,500.00
Length: 21 mos.

URL: www.nrdc.org

For its efforts to oppose the construction of new conventional coal plants and promote alternative plants using coal gasification with carbon sequestration.
Ohio Environmental Council
Columbus, OHAmount: $113,750.00
Length: 21 mos.

URL: www.theoec.org

To support its ongoing efforts to promote Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle in Ohio and to oppose the permitting of a conventional coal plant proposed by AMP-Ohio, a municipal utility consortium.

Resources for the Future Inc.
Washington, DCAmount: $75,000.00
Length: 1 year

To conduct a quantitative assessment of the risks to shareholders and electric utility ratepayers of investing in various coal combustion technologies.
Rockefeller Family Fund
New York, NYAmount: $50,000.00
Length: 1 year

To support ongoing coal advocacy activities of the Renewable Energy Alignment Mapping Project.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Center on Wisconsin Strategy
Madison, WIAmount: $175,000.00
Length: 21 mos.

URL: www.cows.org

To build support among labor leaders in Wisconsin and other Midwest states for coal gasification as an alternative to conventional coal power plants.

Does being on this list mean that all (or even any) of these organizations have dirty hands when it comes to less-dirty coal?  No. 

But, questions can be raised.

Where there’s smoke, is there fire?


2 responses to “Dirty Hands and Clean Coal?

  1. CO2 sequestration would be extremely expensive, and would hold the potential for catastrophic escapes of sequestered CO2 gas. Why would the Union of Concerned Scientists, which doubts the safety of thousands of tons of sequestered nuclear waste, involve itself in a project to sequester trillions of tons of CO2 gas?

  2. Pingback: What would it take to make CISA a CSA? « Energy Smart

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