Germany is raiding its clean energy piggybank to pay for dirty coal. The country is looking to withdraw millions of euros from a fund for promoting clean energy and climate change mitigation, and wants to spend that money on new coal-fired power plants.

The plants, which could cost $218 million per year in 2013 and 2014, are being billed as a stopgap maneuver while Germany weans itself from nuclear onto other renewables. But in that case, it's not clear why they don't just spend the clean energy fund on, you know, clean energy.

There will still be plenty of money left in the climate change coffers; this project is limited to using 5 percent of the available funding. So Germany should have enough to invest in combating the greenhouse gases emitted by the new plants. Because nothing says "fiscal responsibility" like spending part of your money to build something you'll immediately have to spend the rest of your money to fix! 

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