Energy: "clean coal" vs. carbon caps

During the debates, Barack Obama and John McCain both pledged to encourage the use of "clean coal technology" to increase electricity production from domestic sources, and ease the energy crunch.

But both also support "carbon caps" to cut CO2 emissions.  Obama, in particular, supports the imposition of super-strict carbon caps, to reduce CO2 emissions by an impossibly draconian 80 percent by 2050:

That is incompatible with the use of fossil fuels like coal. No matter how thoroughly you clean the emissions, the result of burning coal is lots and lots of CO2 gas (though whether that's actually a problem is debatable*).  There are some pie-in-the-sky proposals to sequester the CO2 rather than release it into the atmosphere, but they are of dubious practicality, and such technology certainly will not be available during the next presidential term, if ever.

In other words, either Obama's pledge to encourage use of "clean coal technology" to generate more power was untrue, or his pledge to support strict carbon caps is untrue.

What's more, it turns out that Obama knows that fact perfectly well.

In an unguarded moment during an interview last January with the Editorial Board of the San Francisco Chronicle, Obama said, "If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."

In other words, Obama's pledge to encourage the use of "clean coal technology" to generate more power was never serious. He knew it was untrue when he said it.  He just lied (he does that a lot).

Fortunately for Obama, the Chronicle kept quiet about this little bombshell until a blogger discovered it less than 48 hours before the election.  None of the media "fact checkers" nailed Obama on the inconsistency of his statements during the debates with what that quote, and most voters will vote without ever hearing it.

Dave Burton    H: 919-481-0098    M: 919-244-3316


* Did you know that there has been no measurable global warming at all since George W. Bush took office?  In fact, there has actually been a very slight cooling trend.  (Maybe the real cause of global warming was all that hot air from President Clinton's speeches!)