Cross-posted from Climate Progress.
“The clock is ticking, America. It’s time we focused on reality instead of rhetoric.”
Finally, a national ad about the threat of climate change? Nope. It’s another piece of spin from the coal industry.
Under threat from cheap natural gas, savvy activist groups working overtime to shut down plants, and the declining cost of renewable energy, the coal industry has rolled out a new ad trying desperately to paint itself as “clean.”
It’s time to recognize that America’s unsurpassed coal reserves can deliver centuries of affordable electricity … It’s time we recognized that the nearly $100 billion spent on clean coal technologies have resulted in real environmental progress.
Centuries of coal burning? Scientists warn that we are already hitting tipping points that would make accelerating warming trends irreversible. If we burn coal for a couple more decades we’ll be in desperate trouble. Centuries? The warming scenario is almost unimaginable.
Real environmental progress? Last time I checked, coal was the source of 99 percent of mercury pollution from the U.S. power sector. Coal-fired electricity is also the largest source of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the U.S.
The only effective ways to address those problems are strong, smart regulatory standards. And the coal industry has fought those efforts tooth and nail.
Yes, the clock is indeed ticking.