"Open thread for comments on the ’60 Minutes’ story: “The Dilemma Over Coal Generated Power.”"
My quick reaction is 1) woo hoo, showed my book on TV! and 2) boo hoo, cut out all my quotes about the other strategies that can provide all the clean power we need if CCS doesn’t prove practical and affordable [it is CCS or bust for the coal industry, but not for humanity and 3) double boo hoo to Jim Rogers, who runs a utility — he’ll do just fine whether or not CCS ever makes sense and 4) Scott, say it ain’t so — cap-and-trade isn’t a tax!
I’m interested in your reactions to the 60 Minutes story tonight:
I’ve never really had an open thread like this before — nor have I launched a post below the top of the page before. But I wanted to keep the Obama 100 day, Green FDR story on top. Consider this a first-of-a-kind demonstration, like clean coal, though I hope it works out better.
Here’s the teaser from 60 Minutes (video here):
CBS: Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, knows that to help stop global warming he’ll have to do something about the 100 million tons of carbon dioxide that his coal-fired power plants emit each year. But right now, he’s building two more, because job one is to keep power flowing to his customers, and removing the carbon dioxide is out of the question, at least for many years to come.
Rogers speaks to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley for a report on America’s dependence on coal – the dirtiest fuel and biggest contributor to global warming – to be broadcast this Sunday, April 26, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Jim Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, says coal is the greatest threat to the planet, requiring immediate action.”We are going to have to have a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants within the next few years and phase out the existing ones over the next 20 years”¦to preserve the climate like the one that has existed the last several thousand years,” he tells Pelley.
But Rogers says a moratorium is not practical. “Mr. Hansen, can’t get done, won’t get done,” responds Rogers. “We’ve got to keep our economy going”¦ To do what you ask me to do now is just not doable,” he says. “We can’t abandon coal,” he says of America’s most abundant and inexpensive fossil fuel. “We have to find a way to keep it and use it in the future and that means the ability to clean it up,” he tells Pelley.
Rogers says he has big plans to make his company carbon free – but it’ll take at least 40 years. To help get there, says Rogers, his coal plants will have to use a new technology called carbon capture and storage, which turns the carbon dioxide into liquid and pumps it deep underground.
The problem is there are hundreds of coal-burning power plants in the U.S. alone: each would need to capture and store its carbon – and each would cost billions to build. In addition, the world’s energy systems will need to be retooled. “We can do that, but it’s going to take trillions of dollars to do it,” Rogers says.
Needless to say, Rogers is full of crap. We can do this without dirty coal — see How the world can (and will) stabilize at 350 to 450 ppm: The full global warming solution (updated).