"That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies." – President Obama from his January 27, 2010 State of the Union address
During my time at ACCCE we have been very clear on two points when it comes to providing low-cost, environmentally-friendly electricity to meet future demands: 1) We will need all forms of electricity production to accomplish that goal; 2) clean coal technologies must be a major part of the discussion.
Last night the president once again reiterated his campaign messaging that clean coal technologies must be part of this country’s energy future. Is there really anyone that can now argue that the president doesn’t fully understand the need to fund clean coal projects? If so, I’d love to hear that point of view (Jeff Biggers, I’m looking your way).
But for all the issues on which our two main political parties disagree, it’s clear that there are a few things democrats and republicans do agree on. Let’s take a look at what Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell had to say in his response to the State of the Union: “Advances in technology can unleash more natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal and alternative energy to lower your utility bills.”
Last night’s speech was a call for national unity, and from what I was able to determine, it was a call for unity on all the issues—not just a handful of items.
So, with that in mind, it’s time for groups that are adamantly opposed to the use of coal to produce electricity to come to grips with the simple fact that we will use coal in this country for a long time to come.
Here’s hoping that those opposed to coal-based electricity will take the president’s speech to heart and lend their voice (or, at least, refrain from being an obstacle) when it comes to ensuring proper funding for the technologies that allow the use of our most domestically abundant baseload fuel source, while preserving the environment.
Complex issues require bipartisan support, and if last night is any indication, this is one issue both parties can agree on.