News Item:
Power companies rolling the co2 dice

Although we tend to poke fun at global warming enthusiasts around here, there are legitimate environmental concerns the world has to deal with, and generating power is a big one.  The Middle East is running out of oil, that is a given, and some here in the States are in a panic about facing the withdrawal symptoms.  They’re the ones you see with all the banners and protest signs.  In a lesser state of flux, is American business, or more precisely, the utility companies.  They know what they’re faced with, and are already on track to actually do something about it.  Why?  Because business is business, and providing a clean energy source is the mandate of the future.  Those companies that do will thrive, those companies that don’t, will play catch up, or fall by the wayside. 

That’s how corporate America works.  Older folks would call it building a better mouse trap, which is not the same as reinventing the wheel.  There are lots of ways to stop spewing pollutants into the air, some more viable than others.  The one that will win out though, because energy comes from businesses, and not the government, will be the one that makes the most financial sense.

Windmills look neat, but there aren’t enough places that get that nice steady breeze all the time.  Solar has made strides, but we have to face the fact that it’s not always sunny every day.  Nuclear, we can do, but there’s opposition there.  The word Chernobyl pops up in conversation.  Biofuels are coming on the market, but in some cases, for industrial use, it takes more energy to produce the fuel than you get back.  That leaves us with coal, dirty, stinky, dusty, black smoke coal.  Chances are, that will be the big answer.

“Whaaaat???!!!  Coal???!!!”

[Someone pick up the Greenies that just fainted]

Business is already moving on it.  Over half the energy consumed here in the US comes from coal fired facilities.  The technology is at hand to burn coal very cleanly, both in new plants and retrofitted older ones.  As a bonus, we are sitting on top of the largest coal reserves in the world, 250 years worth at current consumption, which makes us the Saudi Arabia of a different kind of black gold.  Stop thinking Middle East, and start thinking Midwest.

We have the goods, and technologically it’s possible, so why did we say up top that power companies are rolling the dice on this, when it should be a no-brainer?  Politics, congress, what will the regulations be, what will be allowed, and disallowed.  Those answers have yet to be forthcoming from Capitol Hill, but Corporate America [that dirty word] knows it will have to be A, B, or C, and they’re starting to invest in what seems most plausible, instead of waiting for a decision to come from DC.  Our elected officials make a lot of speeches about what we ‘should’ do.  A savvy businessman just goes out and does it.

Full Story: MSNBC

Cartoon from Sid in the City

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