Let me repeat that. I don't care what these companies that want to make burning coal sound like... it is NOT clean.
Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, has filed a bill offering up to $300 million in tax credits to companies interested in building so-called clean coal plants in Texas. The plants, the first of their kind in the nation, would be designed to sequester at least 60 percent of the carbon dioxide they produce. Under those guidelines, the plants would meet the emission standards of California and Washington, according to supporters....
"It’s a pretty diverse group to try and build clean coal plants in Texas," King said, noting that Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams and Donald Hodel, energy secretary under President Ronald Reagan, are also supporters.
Yeah. So? It's not like Michael Williams of the RRC is some kind of paragon of clean energy virtue! And who the heck is Donald Hodel? Um, I mean LATELY. According to this link, he's chairman of Summit Power Group, Inc. The Texas Observer has an article about this, which includes the fact that Laura Miller (former mayor of Dallas) was hired by the group, which has a right-wing, Focus on the Family pedigree, to push the coal-gasification process in Texas.
Hodel seeks to build a coal-gasification plant that would remove half of the global-warming emissions it produces. Oddly, the Arizona-based Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change lists Hodel as a science adviser. The center, a think tank, touts the planetary advantages of warmer climates, and questions alleged links between CO2 emissions and global warming. It has received funding from oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. Hodel has been president of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition. His wife, Barbara, sits on the board of Virginia-based Patrick Henry College, which caters to home-schooled evangelicals (and is unrivaled at placing interns in the current White House). Another member of Patrick Henry’s board is Texas Christian-right godfather James Leininger, who has spent millions of dollars in Austin promoting school vouchers, protecting fetuses, and battling with plaintiff attorneys over liability laws.
And from Forbes, which points out that the costs are way up (which is why, I'm sure, the Summit Power Group wants some taxpayer corporate welfare).
Then there is the matter of financial viability. Carolyn Preston, director of the Petroleum Technology Research Centre in Regina, Sask., dreams of an affordable, clean coal power plant and admires what she calls "philanthropists" trying to build one. Still, she says, "the economics are simple. It's a bust. That is why it is not happening."
Summit won't break out what rates it would have to charge to make a buck, arguing that its contracts are still under negotiation. But the Energy Department estimates that electricity from a carbon-capturing plant with sequestration will cost 8 cents to generate one KWH in today's money by 2016. That figure does not take into account any benefit from selling carbon credits or any revenue from selling carbon dioxide. The same study projects a cost of 6 cents per KWH for a conventional coal plant, 7 cents for one fueled by natural gas, 6 cents for nuclear reactions and for wind, and 29 cents for solar (after subsidies). The feds estimate that a plant like Summit's, capturing 60% of carbon, would have to sell its CO 2 for $42 or more per ton to be competitive with 6-cent electricity from a conventional coal plant.
And there's always the question about what happens to the Co2 crap that gets pumped into the ground and whether it leaks out again.
Incidentally, as a related note, thought it would be interesting to see who contributes to Phil King, in dollar amounts from most to least, from his January 2009 filing
ENT, AT&T Texas PAC, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 10000.00
ENT, Comcast Corporation PAC, , Philadelphia, PA, 19103, 20081103, 2500.00
ENT, PAC of Winstead PC, , Dallas, TX, 75270, 20081210, 1500.00
ENT, Texas Credit Union League PAC, , Dallas, TX, 75265-5147, 20081112, 1500.00
ENT, GDF Suez Energy North America Inc. PAC, , Houston, TX, 77056-4499, 20081210, 1000.00
ENT, General Electric PAC, , Washington, DC, 20004, 20081210, 1000.00
ENT, HeartPlace PAC, , Dallas, TX, 75254, 20081210, 1000.00
ENT, Q PAC, , Fort Worth, TX, 76102, 20081028, 1000.00
ENT, Reliant Energy PAC, , Houston, TX, 77001-0148, 20081210, 1000.00
IND, Roberts, Jack, Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 1000.00
ENT, SCOPE, , Amarillo, TX, 79105-1261, 20081125, 1000.00
ENT, Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association PAC, , Austin, TX, 78711, 20081124, 1000.00
ENT, Texas Consumer Lenders PAC, , Arlington, TX, 76013, 20081209, 1000.00
IND, Williamson, Barry, Austin, TX, 78746, 20081029, 1000.00
ENT, ACE Cash Express Inc. PAC, , Irving, TX, 75038, 20081211, 500.00
ENT, Beer Alliance of Texas PAC, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, Blackridge, , Austin, TX, 78711, 20081212, 500.00
ENT, Career Colleges & School of Texas PAC, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, Cash America International Inc. PAC, , Fort Worth, TX, 76102, 20081209, 500.00
ENT, Coats Rose Yale Ryman & Lee PC, , Houston, TX, 77046, 20081029, 500.00
ENT, Devon Energy Corporation PAC, , Oklahoma City, OK, 73102-8260, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, Hotel PAC of the Texas Hotel and Motel Association, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081030, 500.00
IND, Jones, Neal, Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 500.00
IND, Luna, Vilma, Austin, TX, 78701, 20081208, 500.00
IND, Mahaffey, Jessica, Austin, TX, 78737-2523, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, PAC of The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, , Austin, TX, 78769, 20081211, 500.00
IND, Pate, Gerry, Magnolia, TX, 77354-6486, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, Solar Alliance Inc. Texas PAC, , Scituate, ME, 02066, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, Texas architects Committee, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081103, 500.00
ENT, Texas Podiatric Medical Association Inc. PAC, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081028, 500.00
ENT, Texas Trial Lawyers Association PAC, , Austin, TX, 78767-0788, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, Tex-Pipe PAC, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 500.00
ENT, Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas PAC, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 500.00
IND, Yzaguirre, Mario, Austin, TX, 78746, 20081210, 500.00
IND, Pitts, James, Carrolton, TX, 75010, 20081027, 475.00
ENT, F.A.I.R. PAC, , Athens, TX, 75751, 20081210, 300.00
IND, Ross, Edward, Austin, TX, 78746, 20081210, 300.00
IND, Bresnen, Steven, Austin, TX, 78745, 20081210, 250.00
IND, Ingersoll, Deborah, Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 250.00
ENT, NRA-Political Victory Fund, , Fairfax, VA, 22030-7400, 20081031, 250.00
ENT, PharmPAC, , Austin, TX, 78761-1806, 20081120, 250.00
ENT, Pinnacle Anesthesia Consultants PA, , Dallas, TX, 75240, 20081210, 250.00
IND, Stearns, Zachary, Bastrop, TX, 78602, 20081211, 250.00
ENT, Texas Osteopathic Medical Association PAC, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081028, 250.00
ENT, Texas State Rifle Association PAC, , Goldwaite, TX, 76844-0413, 20081031, 250.00
IND, Trout, Tad, Huntington Beach, CA, 92646-7214, 20081211, 250.00
ENT, Walter Fisher & Associates, , Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 250.00
IND, Ward, Leslie, Austin, TX, 78746, 20081210, 250.00
IND, Wilbanks, Paul, Austin, TX, 78738, 20081210, 250.00
IND, Miller, Barry, Austin, TX, 78758, 20081120, 200.00
IND, Reed, Holly, Dallas, TX, 75214-5440, 20081210, 150.00
IND, Cavazos, Eddie, Austin, TX, 78768, 20081210, 100.00
IND, Haynes, Lisa, Weatherford, TX, 76086, 20081212, 100.00
IND, Hughes, Lisa, Austin, TX, 78759, 20081210, 100.00
IND, Shipton, Patricia, Austin, TX, 78701, 20081210, 100.00
ENT, Wittenburg and Associates LLC, , Austin, TX, 78739, 20081210, 100.00