What are we going to do about coal? Burning coal provides more than half of our electricity. It’s an abundant, domestic and dirty fuel, a big contributor to global warming.
NRG Energy wants to build a “clean coal” plant in western New York. I met NRG’s chief executive, David Crane, recently and wrote about the company in today’s CNNMoney column.
The environmental community is, interestingly, divided on the question of clean coal. Some say it’s an oxymoron; others say it’s a crucial part of the world’s energy future. Here’s how the column begins:
Is coal becoming a dirty word? It’s vilified as a contributor to global warming, risky to get out of the earth — as recent deaths in a Utah coal mine have reminded us — and responsible for destroying streams and valleys in Appalachia, where mountaintop removal mining remains extremely controversial.
Meanwhile, pressure from environmental groups worried about climate change has forced utilities from North Carolina to Oregon to drop plans for about two dozen coal-fired power plants.
What’s the CEO of a coal-burning utility to do?
You can read the rest here.