'/> Uncommon Hours: The myth of "clean coal"
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Friday, March 27, 2009

The myth of "clean coal"

By Thomas Kostigen, MarketWatch

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- Turn on your television and soon enough you'll see an advertisement espousing the benefits of "clean coal." Wait a little longer and you might see an advertisement saying there's no such thing.

Let's be clear: The latter is true. There is no such thing as clean coal. It's like saying "dry water." It doesn't exist.

Yet a multi-million dollar advertising and marketing campaign by the coal industry is trying to sway public opinion about coal, an energy source targeted by activists and officials as harmful to our health and the planet's health when burned.

Burning coal spews carbon dioxide, among other pollutants, into the air. Still, we generate about half of our electricity in the United States with coal.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity says it believes "the robust utilization of coal -- America's most abundant energy resource -- is essential to providing affordable, reliable electricity for millions of U.S. consumers and a growing domestic economy. Further, ACCCE is committed to continued and enhanced U.S. leadership in developing and deploying new, advanced clean coal technologies that protect and improve the environment."

The sly campaign is to be expected. Coal's future is in serious doubt. With businesses and utilities looking to replace it as a power source, the industry is right to be afraid.

Read the rest of the article here.

Thomas M. Kostigen is the author of You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet (HarperOne). www.readyouarehere.com

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