Day: August 29, 2007

Dear American Public Media, Coal is not clean!

Overheard this morning on The Marketplace morning report…

“The use of scrubbers have made coal fired power plants much cleaner”

Umm, this only refers to the scrubbing of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. Unless some marvelous scrubber has been invented and perfected (top secret, the coal fired power plants don’t want you to know about all the good things they do!) that picks up all the CO2 belching out of those smokestacks, no claim can be made that coal is cleaner.

Dear Marketplace, your own website says the following:

KAI RYSSDAL: And it’s official. Carbon dioxide is a pollutant. The Supreme Court says so. The Bush Administration had been arguing the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases

To argue this from a strictly legalistic standpoint, coal is dirtier now than it has ever been because we finally count CO2 as a pollutant (Yes, I know, Supreme Court only ruled on automobile emissions because that was the case in front of it, but gas is gas!).

Dear Marketplace, please stop using the words clean and coal in the same sentence unless and until CO2 emissions from coal are scrubbed!

Update 30Aug07: Apparently (see comments!), NPR does not like the use of the word NPR in the blog title because (and I quote)

“Marketplace” is not an NPR show. It is produced by American Public Media, a separate company, and has its own news operation”

True, so it’s not dear NPR anymore, it’s “dear American Public Media”. There, that takes care of that. My point obviously stands, coal is not clean!!