Saturday, November 13, 2010

Reader Email: The Clean Coal Compromise

Yesterday in Sustainabili-City's Weekly Review I ended up talking briefly about John Boehner who is a strong proponent for clean coal and nuclear power. Understandably, this is troublesome for people who would like to see truly clean alternative energies begin to make a bigger impact in our electricity production.

However, as one reader points out, this doesn't necessarily mean that alternatives are doomed to a diminished rate of development for the next few years.
Mike says:
In my opinion, Boehner's push for clean coal and nuclear could be good in that it sets up a trade: $$ for that stuff so long as $$ go to renewables. Given the really, really long development time for clean coal and nuclear, the trade may work as renewable will bring more immediate results and people by nature are impatient.
This is a good point, and one of the numerous possibilities of collaboration from both sides of the "energy line" that can occur.

By dividing the funding that goes towards new energy plants, you can please both sides of the political spectrum by supporting the 'coal states' as well as mitigating the carbon footprint of these states with completely clean industries such as wind and solar.

Clearly, this an extremely oversimplified statement of how these policies are developed, funded, and implemented - but as we have seen in the past, strong-arming one-sided policies through our system just doesn't work because our checks and balances do their job wonderfully by allowing the minority side to slam on the breaks and halt all productivity.

Like I have said before and will continue to say in the future, these changes are going to require cooperation and compromises from all sides of the government.

On a sillier note, here is one of my more favorite viral videos about clean coal:

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