Anthracite, Bituminous, Sub-Bituminous AND Lignite?

By September 23, 2008Energy

This post with video by the Politico’s Ben Smith on Senator Biden’s abjuration of coal is getting widespread play among the bloggers, chatterers and the commentariat.

Some great rope line video from Joe Biden’s recent Ohio swing, where he was asked by an anti-pollution campaigner about clean coal — a controversial approach in Democratic circles for which Obama has voiced support, particularly during the Kentucky primary.

Biden’s apparent answer: He supports clean coal for China, but not for the United States.

“No coal plants here in America,” he said. “Build them, if they’re going to build them, over there. Make them clean.”

“We’re not supporting clean coal,” he said of himself and Obama. They do, on paper, support clean coal.

Even disagreeing (strenuously) with Senator Biden on coal as a matter of policy, we must concede that his position is not unheard of. It’s shared by quite a few leading environmentalist opponents of energy development:

  • “There’s no such thing as clean coal” — Bruce Nilles, who directs the Sierra Club’s National Coal Campaign. (Columbus Dispatch, Jan. 11, 2008.)
  • “There’s no such thing as clean coal” — Robert Kennedy Jr. “‘Coal is dirty and destructive in every aspect of its production and burning.” (Real News Network, Aug. 28, 2008.)
  • “There’s no such thing as clean coal” — Ilan Levin, legal counsel for the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) in Austin, Texas (The New Scientist, Aug. 3, 2007.)

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