The latest advertisement from the coal industry warns us that without drastic measures to embrace Clean Coal, we risk saying “Goodbye to the American way of life that we all know and love.”
Goodbye. Adios. Sayonara. Au revoir.
Clean coal is important to America’s energy and economic security. The the process of generating coal is 70% cleaner than it was just 30 years ago, and continues to become cleaner still. This spot highlights the need to change outdated perceptions of coal and encourages all to realize that without coal, we would not have the energy we need to sustain our current way of life.
Goodbye to what? A wasteful energy culture that leads to polluted oceans that poison our food? Waste of energy that leads to $100s of billions leaving American shores to go overseas to pay for imported oil?
In any event, the industry keeps feeding us material that takes the truth out of truthiness. For example, re that 70%?
The coal industry is correct that emissions from coal plants are down 35 percent since 1970.
But the claim that the air is cleaner is only true from a 1970s perspective – for those pollutants which were regulated under the Clean Air Act and related statutes – chiefly sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, the two main components of smog. But since coal use has more than tripled since 1970, total pollution from coal plants has increased.
Mercury emissions from coal plants continue to climb, and since 1990, carbon dioxide emissions – the prime driver of global warming – rose 27 percent from coal plants alone.
Clean Coal is an ugly myth, a myth that can can sooth people into accepting coal as inevitable into our future, a myth that will doom us to disaster. …