coal plantCan new technologies produce economically viable “clean coal”? Is clean coal a necessary component of combating climate change?

David Roberts of Grist and Sasha Mackler of the Bipartisan Policy Center battled it out over those questions in an email exchange, with Mackler arguing that cleaning up coal’s greenhouse gas emissions is necessary and possible, while Roberts argued that coal is a dirty, dangerous distraction from truly clean energy.

The exchange was organized and originally published by, a project of the U.S. State Department.