In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, Newt Gingrich suggested a number of alternatives to implementing the Waxman-Markey clean energy economy legislation, which Gingrich called a “massive energy tax increase.” In the course of summarizing a few of these alternatives, Gingrich added a new term to the coal industry’s propaganda lexicon by calling on Congress to incentivize research on and the development of “green coal” technology:
GINGRICH: I do think that green coal and carbon sequestration is the most important single breakthrough we can make. … Unless you get to an affordable green technology for coal there is no possibility that American developments are going to affect the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Of course, there is no such thing as “clean” or “green” coal. As Jeff Biggers wrote recently in the Washington Post, “No matter how ‘cap ‘n trade’ schemes pan out in the distant future for coal-fired plants, strip mining and underground coal mining remain the dirtiest and most destructive ways of making energy. Coal ain’t clean. Coal is deadly.”