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Despite 'political tug-of-war,' the US 'still needs fossil fuels': DOE General Counsel

Source: 
Utility Dive

"Fossil fuels are not some kind of snake oil being sold by somebody who doesn't believe in it, to a public who doesn't want it," DOE head lawyer Bill Cooper told an audience of energy lawyers in Washington, D.C....

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Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Oct 21, 2019 1:54 pm GMT

To lump coal in with oil and nuclear is fairly absurd. Coal is needed for one thing: Short term employment.  It makes no sense financially, much less for electricity security.  Its demise would be guaranteed if not for the cynical reasons of politics in coal producing states. Even still, the end is in sight for this source of energy.

That is not to say that CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) has no future. A reasonable carbon tax on emissions might help make CCS an economic reality for gas fired generation, maybe even for coal.  For that reason, a carbon tax may be the best tool available to achieve zero or near zero net CO2 emissions.

So, if coal is so important to the government, they should enact a carbon tax to help make CCS a reality.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 21, 2019 9:17 pm GMT

To lump coal in with oil and nuclear is fairly absurd. Coal is needed for one thing: Short term employment.  It makes no sense financially, much less for electricity security.

Exactly why that DOE proposal a year ago for the 90 day fuel supply subsidy was purposely tying coal and nuclear together. Alone, there wouldn't be enough support to give coal that handout. But tie it to nuclear and all of a sudden you had unusual bedfellows defending it.

Thankfully, FERC put an end to that one

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