The Clean Coal Tell-All

Monday, April 13, 2009

What have you heard about clean coal? That it involves vats of liquid carbon dioxide annexed away underground? That it's dangerous? That it's never been done before? In an exclusive interview, Scientific American's energy and environmental editor David Biello sits down with The Takeaway to chat about the technology formally known as "carbon capture and sequestration" ("CCS"), carbon balloons, and carbon geysers— the newest Old Faithfuls.

Check out more of what Biello has to say on Scientific American, where he did a week's worth of carbon capture and sequestration coverage.

And for more coverage of what a "new energy economy" will look like, check out The Takeaway's Power Trip clean energy series.


David Biello

Hosted by:

Femi Oke and Todd Zwillich


Molly Webster

Comments [2]


Regardless of all the fuzzy science surrounding the "clean coal" myth, the coal industry has been killing communities in Appalachia through the practice of mountain-top removal in Appalachia and elsewhere.

Look at this picture of an MTR mountain,

or for more info on MTR.

Apr. 13 2009 08:53 AM

Your guest clearly has an opinion, unfortunately presented as fact. Supporters of his position are "pragmatists" and the opposition is "Utopian". If you read the research of prominent economists and environmental experts you quickly realize that CCS is not only questionable in terms of the lack of understanding regarding the potential effectiveness of this process (e.g., how long will the CO2 really stay under ground) and the potential negative environmental impacts, but most importantly, you will realize that it is impossible to do this for all existing coal power plants, and that where it is possible, it is prohibitively expensive.

This ends up being an excuse for the strong coal lobby who wish to continue and build new coal-fired power plants and to continue selling coal to old, inefficient and dirty plants, to continue with business as usual.

Call me Utopian, but I think pursuing proven, efficient, renewable energy, and the phase out of coal, is the practical way to go.

Apr. 13 2009 08:52 AM

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