Bush's "Clean Coal" Boondoggle

Even George W. Bush acknowledges that he's not the brightest porch light on the block, but he seems to turn especially dim when it comes to energy policy.

W says he wants to encourage a clean energy future for us. Does that mean solar, wind, conservation, and other non-polluting sources of power? Are you kidding? He and his sidekick Dick Cheney think all of that stuff is a bunch of frou-frou, and his budget cuts back on these programs. Instead, he's thinking coal. Only a Texas oil guy could take a whiff of a lump of coal and think, ahhh... fresh air. Coal, of course, is about the filthiest fuel we have, but George is putting his money (actually our money) behind an oxymoron called "clean coal technology.'

Coal is to clean energy what a Twinkie is to health food. Yet for the past 15 years, industry lobbyists have squeezed billions of dollars out of U.S. taxpayers to subsidize utilities that build these clean-coal power plants that are only slightly less filthy than the old conventional belchers. This has been a boondoggle and a PR sham that pays utilities to build more dirty plants while claiming to be coming clean. These so-called clean-coal plants spew out 10 times more smog causing pollutants and twice as much global-warming chemicals as do utilities using natural gas. Bush's energy plan, however, backs coal over natural gas -- his bill triples the industry's subsidy, providing $5.5 billion to encourage the use of coal to generate electricity. As a result, since George has been in the White House, gleeful utility executives have announced that they will build 24 new coal-fired plants across the country. The result for us will be dirtier air, more health problems, increased global warming, and more acid rain.

This is Jim Hightower saying... Yet, George is the same guy who tells us that government should not promote the development and use of alternative energy because he trusts the "free-market" to decide which energy sources are best.


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