Hansen testimony to the Iowa Utilities Board on coal and climate — comments welcome

NASA’s James Hansen just circulated the following email:

My testimony submitted to the Iowa Utilities Board on Monday October 22 is available here. Because of recent distractions, but mainly because of my plodding writing pace, I only completed text for the introductory and paleoclimate parts. I included figures for the remaining parts and added a quick caption to each figure.

As it turns out, we were then granted a 10-day extension, so I will be sending another version late next week. And I hope to make a better presentation for later coal cases, so any criticisms are welcome.

If you have any comments, post them and I’ll pass them along.

What is Hansen’s bottom line?

Saving the planet and creation surely requires phase-out of coal use except where the CO2 is captured and sequestered.

Here! Here!

4 Responses to Hansen testimony to the Iowa Utilities Board on coal and climate — comments welcome

  1. James, could you use a good administrative assistant? Your value should not be limited by the speed of your writing. Certainly not at this time.

  2. john says:

    As usual, Dr. Hansen makes the complex accessible and convincing. One additional point of arguement might be useful — the economics of energy efficiency. Although it lies outside of the science of global warming, it is directly germane to the need for new coal fired plants.

    A case that demonstrates that coal-fired plants are not only ecologically devasting, but economically ill-advised would be extremely effective.

    ACEEE has done preliminary analyis for a number of states on the capacity for energy efficiency, on-site generation and load management techniques to cost effectively displace the need for new coal generation. In every case, they’ve found that future power needs can be met more cheeply by using available technology to reduce demand, than it can by building new generation. Indeed, the studies suggest this will be true for nearly two decades.

    It should be noted that this finding is based on a straight cost per kW, and does not include the substantial externailites associated with global warming identified in the Sterns Report — which would almost certainly extend the advantage of cost-effective efficiency opportunties by decades more — to the limit of currently avialble technologies.

    As a result, PUCs have a fiduciary responsibility to assure that such cost effective measures have been identified and exploited, before approving new coal generation, as well as a moral obligation to do so.

    Again, this may not be Dr. Hansen’s specfic area of expertise, but it is certainly useful as a supporting arguement to his sound analysis of the science.

    Recently, the governor of Florida has vetoed two coal fired plants, and in doing so, he cited the findings of ACEEE’s Florida analysis.

  3. Ronald says:

    I’m sure you and those who are building these coal plants know about the costs of those and even the increases costs of those things. Here are a couple of links to articles I got from Gristmill about the costs.

    I get all the discussion about global warming and maybe that is all James Hanson was asked to discuss, but it should be mentioned that the costs of the new coal plants will be large and if everybody was going to build the plants, it will just add to the increased competition for materials to build these things.

    Being smarter with the energy we are using now is the better way to go.

    That would be worth an article in climate progress, what the new plant costs are compared to new efficiency. That’s what the actual comparisons should be, new to new, not what the average costs of electrical power is from coal plants that are 30 or 50 years old.

  4. Dr. Hansen’s full, final testimony as filed, along with the original petition and testimony of other expert witnesses for the intervenors in the Marshalltown coal plant docket before the Iowa Utilities Board, is now available on the Resources page of the Plains Justice website: