I know that there are just some people who are opposed to coal, and opposed to using it, regardless of the facts. I guess that is their prerogative, but does that mean they can say things are clearly untrue?
Last week in an interview on PBS, anti-coal author Jeff Goodell said that a coal plant built today is really no different that a coal plant built 30 years ago.
Then, last night on the Ed Shultz show, Dan Weiss from the Center for American Progress and I were both being interviewed on the subject of clean coal when Dan Weiss made the same statement. While I was quick to try and point out why Dan was wrong, I didn’t have to—Ed Shultz himself challenged Dan on that point.
The fact is, both Jeff Goodell and Dan Weiss are wrong. New coal plants built today emit fewer pollutants in terms of traditional pollutant emissions (those currently regulated under the federal Clean Air Act ) and are more efficient in terms of CO2 (fewer emissions per unit of energy produced). As I said last night, this is the same principle as driving a more fuel-efficient car (something that I’m sure Dan and Jeff both think is a good idea, but their anti-coal bias keeps them for seeing why this matters when it comes to coal plants).
In the long-run, this is important because increased efficiency will ultimately mean less CO2 will need to be captured and stored.
The facts do matter. That is why we are very careful to provide substantiation for the facts we use as we promote this dialogue. And you can keep us honest in that regard. But when you post to the blog, we’re also going to hold you to the same standard. If you’re just sharing your opinion, be prepared that we’ll probably ask you to back it up with some facts.