More Coal

MORE COAL….Brad Plumer has a piece today in the New Republic about coal-to-liquid that’s more lucid and more damning that the NYT piece I linked earlier. In particular, feast your eyes on this:

Ironically, for all the hype, liquefied coal is hardly the cheapest or easiest way to achieve energy security. According to the National Coal Council, an advisory board to the Department of Energy filled with coal executives, a tremendous coal-to-liquid push — involving $211 billion in investments over the next 20 years and a 40 percent increase in mining — would allow the United States to replace just 10 percent of its oil supply. By contrast, using that coal to generate electricity for plug-in hybrids would displace twice the oil and emit a fraction of the carbon.

Look, if even the National Coal Council thinks we’d be better off just burning the stuff to produce electricity, then we’re probably better off just burning the stuff to produce electricity. And as long as we’re at it, maybe one of those coal companies talking up the joys of carbon sequestration for CL plants would like to step up to the plate and first demonstrate that it actually works on a commercial scale at an existing plant. Any takers?

UPDATE: Yet more from David Roberts. He’s unimpressed too.