William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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REMARKABLE – AT 9:28 A.M. ET:  This is one of the most intriguing stories I've read recently.  It shows that the American energy industry isn't standing still, and that our resources are a powerful tool.  From Fox:

Researchers have discovered a stunning new process that takes the energy from coal without burning it -- and removes virtually all of the pollution.

The clean coal technique was developed by scientists at The Ohio State University, with just $5 million in funding from the federal government, and took 15 years to achieve.

“We’ve been working on this for more than a decade,” Liang-Shih Fan, a chemical engineer and director of OSU’s Clean Coal Research Laboratory, told FoxNews.com, calling it a new energy conversion process. “We found a way to release the heat from coal without burning.”

The process removes 99 percent of the pollution from coal, which some scientists link to global warming. Coal-burning power plants produced about one-third of the nation’s carbon dioxide total in 2010, or about 2.3 billion metric tons, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Retrofitting them with the new process would be costly, but it would cut billions of tons of pollution.
“In the simplest sense, conventional combustion is a chemical reaction that consumes oxygen and produces heat,” Fan fold FoxNews.com. “Unfortunately, it also produces carbon dioxide, which is difficult to capture and bad for the environment.”

And simply put, the new process isn't.

Naturally, the usual suspects have come out of the woodwork:

Some environmentalists are skeptical of the technology, and of the idea of clean coal in general.

“Claiming that coal is clean because it could be clean -- if a new technically unproven and economically dubious technology might be adopted -- is like someone claiming that belladonna is not poisonous because there is a new unproven safe pill under development,” wrote Donald Brown at liberal think tank Climate Progress.

Have you ever noticed how anti-science the green people really are?

Yet the federal Department of Energy believes that the process can create 20 megawatts to 50 megawatts by 2020, said Jared Ciferno, the agency’s director of coal and power-production research and development, in a statement.

The government plans to continue to support the project, as well as the concept of "clean coal" in general.

COMMENT:  You can be sure the vested interests among the greens, including those with financial investments in unproven gimmicks, will fight tooth and nail against new technology like this, just as they are fighting against fracking. 

This country can produce cleaner energy and be energy independent, and at the same time develop new energy sources.  It will be done, if we can keep the fanatics in check.  Keystone Pipeline anyone?

February 21,  2013