An ‘All of the Above’ Energy Plan Sounds Good, Won’t Work

It’s a nice sounding thought. But in light of the Obama administration’s environmental policies, it’s sort of nonsense.

Green_Globe_with_Houses_SmallEver since his last State of the Union address, President Obama has relied on four short words to describe his administration’s energy policy: “all of the above.” Should we rely on fossil fuels or renewables? Yes, says the White House.

That sentiment is now enshrined in the Democratic party platform that was officially adopted in Charlotte. “We can move towards a sustainable energy-independent future if we harness all of America’s great natural resources,” the document states. “That means an all-of-the-above approach to developing America’s many energy resources, including wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, oil, clean coal, and natural gas.”

The problem is coal, which would have to play at least some role in an all-of-the-above energy strategy. Traditionally, coal produces more than 40 percent our electricity, though that figure has fallen over the past year as power plants have burned higher amounts of inexpensive natural gas. Meanwhile, coal also contributes about a third of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the primary culprits behind climate change. For Republicans who aren’t particularly concerned about the earth’s surface temperature, this isn’t much of an issue. Cheap power, they say, is cheap power. But for Democrats who profess to care about global warming, that means old-fashioned, carbon-belching coal plants won’t do.

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Source: Jordan Weissmann | The Atlantic