Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality indicator
test? I have, and I am an ENFP (extraversion, intuition, feeling, perceiving) — the “most optimistic”
Perhaps it is because I’m optimistic about America’s
energy future that I was somewhat offended when the Reality Coalition — a new environmental organization that prefers mud-slinging to dealing with facts — implied that the American public was being
duped by our America's Power ads.
Is the Reality Coalition so cynical that it believes the American people are being misled? Are they uninterested in engaging us on the merits of the debate?
People who have been exposed to our advertising
campaign have not been misled! Here are the simple key facts of
- * Access to electricity is
a good thing, and lots of our electricity (over 50 percent) comes from coal;
- * Coal is a domestically
abundant energy resource (according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency,
more than a 200 year supply are current usage levels);
- * Generating electricity
from coal is more affordable than other fuels (less than 1/3 the cost of
natural gas, which, in most cases, is the nearest substitute for base load
capacity demand that is met by coal);
- * The use of technology
has already made coal a cleaner energy option (reducing emissions of
criteria and other hazardous air pollutants), and going forward new
technologies will also make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
in response to climate change concerns.
I defy the folks within the Reality Coalition (or anybody
else for that matter) to show how any one of these facts is not accurate or
where our campaign’s messages have go beyond these key points.
I will maintain my optimistic view, but I have to suspect
that this new ad has little to do with what this group believes is a
misstatement of facts, and more to do with how Americans are responding.
More and more, Americans support the use of coal for
generating electricity in this country. Our latest survey shows that 72 percent
of opinion leaders “support the use of coal to generate electricity” and 69 percent say that “coal is a fuel for America’s
Again, I have great confidence in the American people. I
know that you’re not fooled as easily as the Reality Coalition seems to think.
I’ve seen the data, and I know
that most of you are concerned about America’s growing reliance on energy
imports and the rising cost of energy and it’s impact on our economy. You
also believe in the American ingenuity that has accomplished amazing things in
the past and therefore believe it is possible to develop and deploy
technologies to capture and store carbon.
Barack Obama said it best earlier this year at a campaign stop in Lebonon,
Virginia, where he said, "This is America. We figured out how to put
a man on the moon in 10 years. You can't tell me that we can't figure out
how to burn coal that we mine right here in the United States of America and
make it [capture of CO2] work."
To that to
say … Yes We Can!