Via Kokomo Tribune:
As the recent election cycle demonstrated, American politics is beset with a number of polarizing issues. Among the most obvious has been the debate over coal. Where Hillary Clinton favored renewable energy at the expense of the coal industry, Donald Trump has promised to launch a coal renaissance. This “either/or” schism overlooks a larger point, though, since technological advances could eventually lead to coal — and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports — playing a key role in the clean energy transformation of the 21st century.
Before this is even possible, however, government policy must find a middle course that balances costs with reasonable goals. Roughly 200 U.S. coal plants have closed in recent years, due in part to burdensome regulations that failed to adequately assess job losses. Ironically, President Obama may have offered a helpful solution back in 2008 when he first suggested: “If technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it. That I think is the right approach.”
It’s noteworthy that America has long benefited from a diverse mix of power sources, and electricity generation anchored by coal currently saves consumers roughly $90 billion annually, according to IHS Energy Consulting. Imagine, then, if the United States could move forward with the affordable, abundant power that coal provides — and without the carbon emissions that have hung a question mark over the future of the world economy.
It’s clear that America will need abundant power generation in the years to come. And since the United States possesses the world’s largest reserves of coal, it makes sense to incorporate coal as part of a diverse energy mix that also includes natural gas, renewables and nuclear power. Americans want energy solutions that continue to use and explore advanced technologies.
The effort to make coal cleaner should be part of an “all of the above” strategy for clean energy in the 21st century. The world’s growing need for energy, and America’s own reliance on a diverse energy supply, argue strongly for such a path forward.
See the article here.