Previewing his interview with the CEO of Sasol, a South African company that produces coal-based liquid fuels, chief business correspondent Ali Velshi admitted on CNN’s American Morning on Friday that “There are issues with coal,” but minimized its problems:
There are issues with coal. It’s not the cleanest thing in the world. You see the signs for clean coal, 99 percent clean. I’m not 99 percent clean when I get out of the shower. . . I just look clean.
Velshi’s hygiene is his own business, but it’s no secret that coal is a dirty fuel and Velshi’s “99 percent clean” is false:
— The misleading “clean coal” ads from the coal-industry front group ACCCE only claim that “today’s coal-based generating fleet is already 70 percent cleaner based upon regulated emissions per unit of energy produced.”
— Because coal use has more than tripled since 1970, total pollution from coal plants has increased. In fact, in 2004 the Clean Air Task Force found coal-plant pollution “cuts short the lives of nearly 24,000 people each year.”
VELSHI: There are issues with coal. It’s not the cleanest thing in the world. You see the signs for clean coal, 99 percent clean. I’m not 99 percent clean when I get out of the shower. We’re going to be showing you —
I just look clean. We’re going to have the whole interview with Pat Davies and some interesting things about making gasoline out of coal on “Your Money” this weekend, Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
ROBERTS: Three letters for you, T-M-I.
VELSHI: About not being 99 percent clean when I get out of the shower.
ROBERTS: But as a byproduct of squeezing the coal, do you also get diamonds?
VELSHI: If you squeeze really hard.
ROBERTS: If you squeeze really hard. Ali, thanks.
VELSHI: That’s another segment.