2008 Re: Rick Boucher Endorses Obama
posted by January 23 at 11:57 AMon
Funny, you’d think if Obama was under “Big Coal“‘s thumb that he’d at least make the top 20 recipients of coal industry donations for the 2007-8 cycle. Clinton is number 20 with $9,200; Obama isn’t ranked there, but has received $4,795 from the coal industry.
Here’s what Clinton had to say about the virtues of clean coal in 2006:
We have to deal with coal, because we have huge resources of coal. Coal is to us what oil is to Saudi Arabia. And part of our domestic strategy must involve coal.
But unless we learn to burn it cleanly, the price of independence from imported oil by using coal will be accelerated global warming. Even if the United States never burned another lump of coal, China is bringing on-line a 1,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant every 10 days. So if we’re going to reassert our leadership on climate change — which I think we should — we’ve got to deal with coal.
And the first step is to take a mandatory cap-and-trade system, like that developed in the McCain-Lieberman legislation that I support, but obviously going out and trying to reengage the rest of the world in this issue.
But unless we get to clean coal, it’s going to be very hard to achieve.
Geologic sequestration, storing carbon deep within the earth after you extract the carbon from the burning coal, holds the key to making coal use compatible with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists believe we will be able to store nearly all of the carbon dioxide we currently emit for hundreds of years. But we need more real-world data, and that can only come from large-scale testing.
I propose we do two things to scale up the potential of clean coal.
First, undertake five large-scale tests of geologic sequestration in a variety of settings to really investigate the viability of this technology.
Second, provide tax credits for carbon sequestration to encourage domestic oil production. Oil companies already inject carbon dioxide into mature fields like the ones we have here in the United States to recover oil. The Department of Energy estimates that with oil priced at $40 or higher per barrel, it is economical, with ample CO2 supply, to use CO2 to recover 47 billion barrels of oil from existing U.S. fields.
Think of what we could recover at today’s prices, as we were cleaning the air at the same time.
Her Strategic Energy Fund makes a number of promises, but first on the list is clean coal:
Deliver Clean Coal Technology. $3.5 billion in tax incentives and grants to build 5 clean coal plants that can capture and store carbon dioxide and reduce global warming.
Look, I don’t think Obama is perfect on coal. He’s from a coal-producing state, and his voting record reflects that constituency. But let’s not pretend Clinton is any better on this issue.
Remember when Clinton went to bat for a major polluter?