The Skywriter

Senators McCain & Obama: we need clean energy, not "clean coal"


Senators McCain & Obama: we need clean energy, not "clean coal"

Last night in the Vice Presidential debate, you heard both Senator Biden and Governor Palin touting their support for "clean coal".  Today, President Bush signed a $700 "bailout" bill passed by Congress that provides important tax credit extensions for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures--but also gives $25 billion in tax credits to the coal industry.

Both presidential campaigns and our Congress are missing the point:  Conventional coal-burning power plants are the leading cause of global warming pollution in the United States.

"Clean Coal" is a myth--a contradiction in terms.  Coal companies claim they can develop coal plants at some point in the distant future that will capture and sequester carbon pollution.  But carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is unproven and exorbitantly expensive.  At best, the technology will not be commercially available until 2030, and installing carbon capture systems will almost double plant costs, which won't provide any relief to Americans' soaring utility bills. We need real solutions, not coal industry myths.  Send a message to both Presidential campaigns that we need clean, green energy now.

The recent firestorm of attention in the media on the "Clean Coal" red herring, which has been fanned by attacks and rebuttals from both Presidential campaigns, began two weeks ago when a 1Sky organizer in Ohio, Carolyn Auwaerter, asked Biden a simple question based on 1Sky's commitment to moving beyond coal. "Senator," she asked,  "Wind and solar are flourishing here in Ohio, so why are you supporting clean coal?" Biden clearly and directly stated "We're not supporting 'clean coal'… No coal plants here in America!" 

But he went on to argue for exporting Clean Coal technology to export to China, claiming it was necessary because several new coal plants are being built each week in China, with pollution impacting us here in the United States.  You can see the Biden exchange here.  The McCain-Palin ticket has been an even more vocal advocate of coal as a solution to our energy crisis.

Both campaigns need to hear us loud and clear: the solution to our climate crisis and our staggering economy is not more business as usual.  It is a clean, green 21st century economy that provides jobs in the growing wind, solar, and geothermal industries. 

Thousands of Americans spanning every state in the country hosted over 675 events this past Saturday, September 27th demonstrating their support for Green Jobs Now!  But we need to make our message even louder.

Please, take a minute now to send a message to both Presidential campaigns that we need clean green energy now.

We need federal policy that will:

  • Enact an immediate moratorium on new coal-fired power plants that emit global warming pollution;
  • Repower America through smart, renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal;
  • Set strong, science-based targets for the reduction of global warming emissions of at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050;
  • Create 5 million new green jobs and pathways out of poverty with a sweeping national mobilization for climate solutions and investment in a new energy economy.

Thank you for your commitment to real solutions!

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