The following Letter to the Editor was written by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity President and CEO Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, and published in the Washington Post in response to a recent Op-Ed the paper had written regarding the coal-based electricity industry.
Columnist Eugene Robinson would have President Obama use executive power to shutter our nation’s coal plants, with little regard to the impact on the economy — or on the environment [“Let the coal fire die out,” op-ed, Feb. 26].
More than $100 billion has been invested to make electricity from coal almost 90 percent cleaner than it was 40 years ago. We have more than a dozen clean-coal technologies to thank for this progress. Turning our backs on coal and clean-coal technologies would give countries such as India and China a huge advantage over the United States, which has the largest coal reserves in the world.
Global energy demand is going to increase by 50 percent over the next 25 years, and that demand cannot be met without coal. Those who value a clean environment and a strong economy should be looking for ways to use coal even more cleanly instead of abandoning clean coal to other countries.
Robert M. Duncan