Clean Coal is a fossil fuels Free Lunch

Clean Coal is a free lunchThere’s no such thing as Clean Coal. The concept is an ingenious public relations gambit like Clean-Skies, an No-Child-Left-Behind. Colorado’s supposedly progressive Governor Bill Ritter is an dirty backer. The attempted makeover of the dark fossil fuel has prompted an equal and opposite public reaction.

Laudably, the industry is trying to raise public awareness to “what lies behind the plug.” They ask energy consumers to face the reality that lights –their television even– have to be powered somehow. The image they use is a piece of coal being tapped by an extension cord. It certainly looks magically detached from any complication. Leaving alone that you have to burn the coal (imagine depicting steaks cooking on a stone cold barbecue grill), I’d defy anyone to handle the piece of coal without getting the orange plug completely smudged.

Of course, clean or not, coal is a fossil fuel, the consumption of which is one of the primary causes of Global Warming, aka Climate Change. “Clean Coal” is just a way for the oldest energy industry to get in on the alternative energy gravy train.

Clean coal is odorless shitThe Coen Brothers have directed a hilarious television ad which parodies the Coal Companies pitching their product as an air freshener, even as the aerosol spews pure smoke.

It’s absolutely dispiriting to see Barack Obama championing “Clean Coal” in a TV spot. Who would not like to think that American ingenuity can figure out a way to burn coal cleanly? If we can reverse osmosis, halt aging and make 0% fat fat, why disbelieve we can’t strip carbon of its essence?

At the America’s Power website, the coal industry promises to use Clean Coal to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and of course, to provide jobs. A US map reveals several Clean Coal research sites in Colorado. They are Boulder, Denver, Englewood, Littleton, Wheat Ridge, Nucla and La Vita.

colorado clean coal

Even if the lipstick on pig research is just a boondoggle to snag Federal funded jobs, aren’t there real alternative energy sources to pursue?

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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4 Responses to Clean Coal is a fossil fuels Free Lunch

  1. Avatar Jason Mannce says:

    What do you suggest we replace coal fired energy with, in the next 3 years?

  2. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    Start with carpooling. And Mass Transit.

    I know, I know, you’ll say “in the next three years but, those options have been available for the past 70 years, since the start of World War 2, and always instead of conserving anything the so-called “conservatives” have insisted on squandering every resource and always with that same argument “what would you suggest that can be implemented almost immediately?”

    It’s a not very subtle way of lying.
    Every time Mass Transit comes up for consideration the “conservatives” get out and squeal and scream and piss and moan and bitch about somehow their freedoms would be trampled. The Rich who got their wealth from robbing any and everybody sit back and laugh while their minions spread their fear based propaganda, and nothing gets done.

    So you’re going to still break out with that bit about “well, maybe in a generation or two or three or maybe a century we’ll be able to consider switching to cleaner uses of energy” but, really, Bubba, that lie has been in the system for more than a century..
    Albert Einstein designed the photovoltaic cell in mother-humpin’ 1905 and instead of developing it, because it would take “socialized” subsidies, instead the taxpayers have been FORCED to subsidize the oil and coal industries through two World Wars and many hundreds of smaller ones.
    Are you going to tell that ridiculous lie that Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t occupied, the people of those countries subsidizing the Wealth of the mineral extraction and refining industries through the loss of their freedom to own their own natural resources, their own national sovereignty, their very lives and those of their children for generations to come?

    British Petroleum Bitch-slapped the United States Navy in American Territorial Waters, aided and abetted by “conservatives” who have spread the lie for more than a century that fossil fuel is the only viable solution.

    But we’re not supposed to try anything but your “proven” solution until there’s no air left to breathe, no water left unpolluted, and even the ground poisoned.

    Your bitch-ass Bankster masters have told us that WE, the Working class, have to go through austerity measures so they can afford to continue murdering people around the planet in order for a privileged few to get even wealthier.

    And they’ll cut you off your ration of (relatively) cheap energy too.

  3. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    There was supposed to be an end quote after “in the next three years”.

    Forgive me, Your Majesty. And may I make so bold as to enquire as to when Your Majesty will let us implement energy and therefore money saving policies instead of the continuation of squandering? The Austerity Measures which Your Majesty and his masters have placed upon us might be a little easier to bear if Your Majesty and his masters would share in that Austerity.

  4. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    Actually, there are some very viable solutions already in place or can be put in place in a matter of months.
    Using the direct current from photovoltaic arrays (solar panels) during the day, you’ve heard it said that the sun doesn’t always shine right? Except the very highest demand for power is when THE SUN IS SHINING</strong because that's when most businesses are open AND when people are using air conditioning. Would that be the equivalent of that 15-20% rise in consumption that the "only" acceptable measures would be Coal and Nuclear?
    Also, consider this, there's shitloads of very polluted waters, filled with petrochemicals whose density and boiling points are so close to those of water that they're harder to get rid of than a bad case of fleas. (Betcha thought I was gonna say herpes, dincha? Well the egg is certainly on YOUR face cause on account of I got CLASS, Bubba!)
    Now, say one wanted to split the water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, the oxygen levels could be increased relative to all that freakin' smog your "Clean Coal" and gasoline have been dumping into OUR air. That would be an immediate good effect.
    The hydrogen could then be liquified simply by compressing it. You do it with propane and butane and such all the freakin' time, in everything from hairspray to, well, anything else you'd want to use toxic and explosive chemicals. The same Corporate 1% who control your coal and oil corporations control every other sector. Shit, boy, they even put Nitrous Oxide in Whipped Cream cans. Do you know how explosive THAT is? Maybe one of those coal company controlled chemists could clue you on that.

    A simpler solution is to understand that it's used as rocket fuel. Beyond that how much would you really want to know? Ether, there's another explosive goodie.

    Compared to that Hydrogen is safer than water.
    Then, when Hydrogen is burned as motor fuel, it combines with the oxygen to become… purest distilled water, more cost effective than distilling it, filtering it, all the things your Right Wing comrades bitch about having to pay to do before you send your toxic waste water downstream so other people can either learn to enjoy drinking your poison or pay to have it filtered.

    I know, the Captains of Industry and their deluded minions prefer the Ayn Rand method, just send the poison down unfiltered. But it will backfire and already on many occasions has.

    Now, usually at this point somebody will say something about thermodynamics, how you wouldn't get any "free" energy from anything, righty-o, Daddy-o? Except we're already getting more energy than we can use and with such things as Air Conditioning we're fighting an expensive losing battle to disperse that energy.. Which leads us right back to solar.

    Solar cells which put out that bad ol' Direct Current that doesn't travel well through hundreds of thousands of miles of Grid.
    Neither does A/C by the way, which isn't what you'd use to split hydrogen off from the water molecule. D/C is.

    Which leads to another way of "producing" those energy saving you've rather imperiously yet, somehow, not Empirically, told us have to come from expanding at growing expense, the fossil fuel squandering.

    Smaller grids. The Grid as used now was designed not for efficiency but for having a stable amount of current on tap. Trouble is, anywhere from a quarter to half the energy is spent in the cumulative quadrillions of resistors in the copper atoms of the wiring of the grid. What was that you were about to squeak about Thermodynamics? It takes energy to transmit energy over wires whether you use A/C or D/C.

    Seems smaller independent grids would save that extra 15-20% that you've told us could only come from Coal and other pollutants…

    Which pollute on both ends, during the extraction and during the burning. Also the energy used to transport the coal, that's kind of dirty and carbon-wasting as well.

    Assuming that people would never acquiesce to actually conserving energy is pure bullshit. You're TELLING us what we're going to like, did you ever notice that? Some freedom.

    Granted, there are a few willing slaves who'll allow you to dictate to them what The American Dream is, to be told that they don't want cars that operate without sucking their paychecks right out of their wallets.

    But then, not all of us are idiots. My bet is that MOST aren't and your's, apparently, is that most ARE. Elitist much?

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