How the Bush administration quietly quashed clean coal

coalGreen Party leader Elizabeth May likes to deride clean coal technology as “George Bush’s favorite techno-fix” for climate change. But a new documentary from the Australian Broadcasting Company says the Bush administration actually undermined clean coal, even as it pretended to support the technology.

Coal is our most abundant conventional energy resource, also our dirtiest. It contributes about half of greenhouse gas production in Nova Scotia, about 30 percent worldwide. So a technology that let us use this resource without producing greenhouse gas emissions would be a huge breakthrough in efforts to slow climate change.

In 2007, MIT produced a study called, “The Future of Coal.” It concluded that if carbon capture and storage were to help stem climate change, there was no time to lose. The Bush administration’s Energy Department responded by killing FutureGen, the major US demonstration project for Carbon Capture and Storage.