Within the next few years, power companies are planning to build about 150 coal plants to meet growing electricity demands. Despite expectations that global warming rules are coming, almost none of the plants will be built to capture the thousands of tons of carbon dioxide that burning coal spews into the atmosphere.
This is batshit insane and irresponsible. The US of A does not have a carbon policy (other than use as much as you possibly can!), and, only in the last few months have phrases like cap and trade and carbon taxes been used in respectable society. I am not going to get into the policy solutions here, there are much better discussions going on elsewhere.
My question is this. When you know that 150 coal fired power plants are going to have a significant effect on the carbon emissions, how can you even think of approving them unless you have a carbon emissions mitigation policy in place already? If you let them be built, they will somehow grandfather themselves out of the controls. The power of existence is a big deal. Will anyone dismantle one of these once they’re operational? Think of the children!!
There needs to be a moratorium on any large new power plants and other global warming sources until this country has figured out what emission targets it’s going to meet, how it’s going to meet them, and when it is going to meet them. Only then can the market decide which choices are feasible and which ones just don’t make sense. How will I know whether gasification or conventional burning/sequestration is better unless I have the metrics to measure them by? Depending on the emission reduction targets, they could both be economically viable, or neither.
Something tells me that the word “moratorium” and the phrase “coal fired power plant” will never be uttered in the same sentence.