This weekend’s question may have no good answer.
On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced plans to auction off 758 million tons of coal in Wyoming over the next few months. Then on Friday, the Bureau of Land Management explained they will be selling off another 1.6 billion tons of coal at a future date.
Salazar claims coal could play a role in the “clean energy future,” but that isn’t true, of course — except in an alternative universe where CO2 has a high and rising price and carbon capture and storage pans out — neither of which seems likely even if Obama weren’t now indifferent to serious climate action (see Harvard: “Realistic” first-generation CCS costs a whopping $150 per ton of CO2 “” 20 cents per kWh! and Studyfind leaks from CO2 stored deep underground could contaminate drinking water).
The coal represents a staggering amount of future CO2 emissions, as Wild Earth Guardians, Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife explain: