The U.K.’s environmental watchdog agency, aptly called the Environment Agency, has called for the government to prevent the construction of any further coal plants without carbon capture and sequestration.
This has always struck me as the issue that every green group and smart politician should rally around. Nobody, literally nobody, openly defends building dirty coal plants. Even the biggest coal fans in Congress tout their support for "clean coal."
So why not call their bluff? Why not call the coal industry’s bluff? Fine, we’ll give you subsidies to figure out CCS. But you can’t build any more plants without it.
Who could oppose that position?
My inclination is to think that it would mean the decline and eventual death of the coal industry. By the time CCS is ready for broad deployment, renewables will be the economically superior choice. No investor will sink money into coal with CCS.
But even if it isn’t the end of coal, it’s a huge improvement over the status quo. I honestly don’t know why this isn’t the central rallying cry of a movement that desperately needs to cut through the haze.