Does the coal industry really believe that carbon sequestration can make coal-fired power plants climate friendly? It’s got legislators and even some green campaigners believing so. Given the coal industry’s troubled relationship with the truth, perhaps some skepticism is warranted.

The inimitable Sir Oolius points me to this post from M.J. Murphy. Murphy, obviously a masochist, overheard some intriguing things recently in the Climate Change Skeptics news group.

Recently, CEI emeritus Myron Ebel was complaining to the group about sequestration — he noted that it’s expensive and unworkable at scale. Along comes Richard S. Courtney, long-time climate change skeptic, former Senior Material Scientist for British Coal, now Technical Editor for CoalTrans International — coal shill for life. He lifted the veil from Myron’s eyes:

Firstly, the value of carbon sequestration is political: n.b. it is not technological or economic.

There is opposition to power generation systems that emit CO2 as waste (this is similar to opposition to nuclear power systems that emit radioactive waste). A response to the opposition is needed until the AGW scare is ended. And claims of carbon sequestration (cs) provide that needed response although everybody knows cs would be too expensive for it to be used. [my emphasis]

Inside Big Coal they are well aware that carbon sequestration is a boondoggle. They just need something, anything, to say in response to global warming.

According to Courtney, anyway. As Sir O says, "That’s a rare candid moment from professional liars."