At a kick-off event for the Congressional Coal Caucus today, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity President & CEO Steve Miller testified about the economic benefits provided by coal and clean coal technology. Miller cited several recent ACCCE-sponsored studies that demonstrate the economic advantages of clean coal technology and the importance of affordable electricity.
“Domestically produced coal is the most abundant and affordable means to help satisfy America’s increasing demand for electricity,” said Miller. “By working together, the American coal-fuelled electricity industry and its public sector partners can meet the environmental challenges we face, while continuing to provide reliable, low-cost electricity.”
Clean coal technologies would benefit the American economy, according to a recent study by BBC Research and Consulting. The study, released jointly by ACCCE and a coalition of labour groups, estimated the employment and economic benefits from deploying advanced coal-based power plants with carbon capture and storage. The study found that 150,000 permanent jobs would be created by the operating and maintenance of 65,000 MW of advanced coal-fuelled facilities. Construction of the facilities would create 4.5 million job-years (one job for a one-year period) of employment.
“Coal provides almost half of the electricity we use to run our factories, heat our homes, and grow our economy,” said Miller. “Electricity’s role in providing an enhanced quality of life, including a cleaner environment for all Americans, has never been more apparent or more critical.”
Miller cited a recent study by Eugene M. Trisko that found energy costs are eating up a disproportionately large share of American family budgets. That study found that approximately half of all US households will spend, on average, 20% of their after-tax income on energy.
Clean coal technology is likely to be critical to the coal industry if it is to survive in the current climate, as coal power plants have been single out as some of the single worst producers of CO2 emissions. However there is an acknowledgement amongst governments around the world that they cannot just simply shut off the coal powered plants. Such a decision would lead to a disastrous shortage of electricity, which would inevitably harm industrial growth.
However, CCS technology, which is a main stay of clean coal technology, is still not full developed yet. The National Energy Technology Laboratory reported that North America had enough storage capacity for 900 years worth of CO2. But much is unknown about the long-term consequences, and CO2 may well leak from the underground storage in depleted undersea oil and gas reserves.
Copies of the studies and their findings can be found at: http://www.americaspower.org/News/Research
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/26052010/clean_coal_technology_essential_to_american_economy/