Eco Program For Dirty Air: U.S. 'Clean Coal' Program Fails To Deliver On Smog Cuts

Reuters published Special report about coal, technology, air pollution and success in "fight" for "clean coal"....

 " Champions of coal say the superabundant fossil fuel can be made environmentally friendlier by refining it with chemicals – a “clean coal” technology backed by a billion dollars in U.S. government tax subsidies annually. But refined coal has a dirty secret. It regularly fails to deliver on its environmental promises, as electric giant Duke Energy Corp found. Duke began using refined coal at two of its North Carolina power plants in August 2012. The decision let the company tap a lucrative federal subsidy designed to help the American coal industry reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides – also known as NOx, the main contributor to smog and acid rain – along with other pollutants. Refined coal shows few signs of reducing NOx emissions as lawmakers intended, according to regulatory documents, a Reuters analysis of EPA emissions data, and interviews with power plant owners, scientists and state environmental regulators. Consumption figures compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that American power plants are on track to burn about 160 million tons of clean coal in 2018 – a fifth of the U.S. coal market. That amount would generate about $1.1 billion in incentives at the current tax credit amount of $7.03 per ton. In nearly three years of burning the treated coal, the Duke power plants collected several million dollars in federal subsidies. But the plants also pumped out more NOx, not less, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analyzed by Reuters. The NOx emission rate at Duke’s Marshall Steam Station power plant in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, for example, was between 33 percent and 76 percent higher in the three years from 2012 to 2014 than in 2011, the year before Marshall started burning refined coal, the EPA data shows.  Consumption figures compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that American power plants are on track to burn about 160 million tons of clean coal in 2018 – a fifth of the U.S. coal market. That amount would generate about $1.1 billion in incentives at the current tax credit amount of $7.03 per ton. But most of the plants receiving the subsidy failed to reduce NOx emissions by 20 percent – the threshold required under the policy – in 2017 compared to 2009, the last year before they started burning refined coal, according to a Reuters analysis of EPA data on power plant emissions. Reuters identified 56 plants that burned refined coal in 2017 using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and disclosures from energy companies and refined-coal developers. Only 18 of that group reduced NOx emissions by more than 20 percent in 2017 compared to 2009. And 15 of those 18 only reported the improvements after installing or upgrading pollution control equipment or switching a portion of power production to cleaner-burning fuel, complicating the question of whether their pollution reductions are attributable to refined coal. At 22 of the 56 plants, NOx emissions were higher in 2017 while burning refined coal than they were when using raw coal in 2009....(..) ".

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-coal-pollution-specialreport/special-report-u-s-clean-coal-program-fails-to-deliver-on-smog-cuts-idUSKBN1O2171?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

 

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There are other ways to get electricity that don't involve burning fossil fuels. Ways that we can't run out of because eventually we will run out of coal.

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Just now, pinto said:

There are other ways to get electricity that don't involve burning fossil fuels. Ways that we can't run out of because eventually we will run out of coal.

By the time there is no coal other technologies will be developed. Artificially raising taxes will not make things better. 

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Clean Coal, that's one hell of an oxymoron.

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In this world, term as a “Long run” and “future generations” don’t come into it when all they’re thinking about is how to make as much money as quickly as they can... profitable business doesn't need rules - it already has theirs.

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Clean Coal. Pfft. Also, I'm not thrilled about the phrase "clean coal."

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Clean coal? 

ICYMI: An alarming new report shows 22 of the Illinois' 24 reporting coal ash dumpsites have released toxic pollutants including arsenic, cobalt, and lithium, into groundwater.

Duke power had an awful coal ash spill into the Dan River in NC a few years ago. Result - they hiked the rates on taxpayers to help try and keep it from happening again.

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1 hour ago, damirUSBiH said:

Result - they hiked the rates on taxpayers to help try and keep it from happening again.

There's a corporate/governmental handbook outlining this as the only option, isn't there?  (sarcasm intended, but it sure seems true)

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I have made my home as economical to light, heat and cool as possible. The result is that I pay more for "delivery" of electricity and natural gas. I pay less for the natural gas and electricity themselves. Overall I have to pay more! The power companies make more for themselves and their stockholders. I also get to subsidize aging nuclear power plants that should be closed. 

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