(Watch the latest Thisisreality.org Anti-Clean Coal ad campaign. Its short and funny!)
I know, long time no hear from! But here I am, today was a news day and I must react to the madness in my inbox! I came across a blog posting on www.thisisreality.org about the coal industry’s reticence to fund and develop clean coal technology that would make possible the capture and storage of coal pollution. The thrust of the article is essentially that coal companies have admitted to incredibly low spending on clean coal research and technology. The article cites various sources that provide this information, including a statement from “the CEO of Duke Energy, a major producer of coal power:
Asked how much Duke Energy has invested in carbon sequestration technology so far,” Rogers said, “We have not invested any dollars in the technology, per say. We have spent a lot of time and money reviewing and analyzing the various technologies.” “
Well, to this, I say “REALLY?” Of course the coal companies are not going to invest in clean coal technology. It isn’t realistic or ‘good business’ for them to do so! We live in a capitalist regime which is based on models of surplus and scarcity. Usually we HAVE a surplus, but corporations and manufacturers make it seem scarce for as long as possible so as to keep prices high. For example, think about how the hottest technologies, iphones, wii’s etc begin with a short supply and premium prices. Over time, there are more of them and the price drops. From the debut date, the producers have the stock ready that they don’t make available. The pretense is usually one of scarcity or ‘rareness’ so that people will spend early and much for elite, early access to the product.
So is the same with coal production and distribution, we have been mining and burning coal SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION…at least in massive climate changing quantities, for sure. In over one century of mining, isn’t it reasonable to expect that the coal industry would have amassed a gargantuan surplus? For them to truly fund clean coal technology now, they will have lost all the potentiated surplus that is the coal that has already been mined and not sold. It will only be when all possible coal stores are exploited that business will fully and deliberately look toward alternate forms of energy on which to capitalize. I posit, that until that day, coal companies will continue to set aside only 2-cents of every profit dollar toward clean coal technology. It is not a profitable research venture to fund right now, and this clearly shows that coal companies are not concerned with climate change as much as they are enthralled by the prospect of continued profits using their antiquated energy product.
What do you think?