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  • Industry Group Hits Back at Anti-Coal Rhetoric From Bloomberg, Sierra Club

    In a Wednesday column, the president of a major coal industry group defended coal energy against recent attacks from the environmentalist left. The current drive to drastically redcuce coal power in the United States, he claimed, would deal a body blow to the American economy.

    “There are challenges inherent with using every energy resource,” wrote Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “But if the United States backs away from any of our domestic resources because it poses challenges, we will soon find ourselves with fewer, more expensive supplies of energy.”

    Miller specifically addressed the recent donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to the environmentalist group Sierra Club. The donation specifically funded the group’s anti-coal campaign, which Miller claimed would, if successful, drastically reduce the country’s “jobs, economic growth, energy security and global competitiveness.”

    The Sierra Club claims it has prevented 150 coal power plants from opening, and seeks to shut down a third of the country’s older power plants in the next decade. Bloomberg’s donation, the Sierra Club said, will aid in that campaign.

    New York City is far less dependent on coal that the country generally. The United States gets about 45 percent of its electricity from coal, while coal provides only about 10 percent of New York City’s electricity. And of course few New Yorkers are directly or indirectly employed by the coal industry. So a major reduction in the country’s coal power generation will have little effect on Bloomberg or the city where he lives. Other regions may not be so lucky.

    While he focused on the economics of the issue, Miller also addressed environmental concerns:

    Another fact that the Sierra Club and Mayor Bloomberg ignore is the dramatic reductions in coal-fueled power plant emissions over several decades. Since 1970, emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants have been reduced by more than 56 percent and emissions of nitrous oxides have been reduced by more than 38 percent. During this same time period, the use of coal to generate electricity more than tripled. The promise of clean coal technology is already being realized.

    Ironically, Bloomberg’s $50 million may have hurt the environmentalist cause more than it helped, as the Heritage Foundation’s Derek Scissors noted.

    But what will actually come out of the Bloomberg gift?

    1) The Sierra Club is likely to be more effective in attacking the U.S. coal industry;

    2) U.S. coal production will therefore not reach the level it might have without the gift;

    3) U.S. coal exports are then unlikely to reach the level they might have;

    4) Top importers, such as China and India, will have to mine more of their own coal or import more from non-American sources;

    5) Top exporters, such as Indonesia and Russia, are likely to export more…

    The punch line: Coal production in China, India, Indonesia, and Russia (as well as some other major producers) is dirtier than American production. Cut our output and raise theirs and you get more “climate disruption” and other environmental consequences.

    One result of the Bloomberg gift to the Sierra Club: greater ecological risk.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Industry Group Hits Back at Anti-Coal Rhetoric From Bloomberg, Sierra Club

    1. Tyler520 says:

      Maybe they should immediately redirect coal energy to states other than NY and see how well they get along without it.

    2. Drupp says:

      Love the last paragraph. So many on live in the present and don't see the future.

    3. Bobbie says:

      how can a mayor of a city donate to a cause his state has the least to do with? For a man in an elected titled position serving the PUBLIC, isn't that violating a code of ethics? oh wait, does America have a code of ethics? But to donate to a "SPECIAL INTEREST" that has no honest credibility, but will cause immediate negative consequences to America? …guess you really don't know a man until you realize the effects his blood money can cause to innocent lives.

    4. Robert says:

      They want to destroy two-thirds of our electrical generation capacity with no substitute, and people wonder why America is declining. This country is sitting on a 300 year supply of coal. We can not afford to throw our most valuable energy resource. Radical environmentalists and government bureaucracy are killing this country.

    5. Gary says:

      The Sierra Club proudly trumpets that they are preventing the construction of new coal-fired power plants. A number of these would have replaced older, less efficient plants that produce more pollution, so in preventing the new plants they are actually extending the life of the old, more polluting plants. And. as stated above, they are supporting increased foreign coal production that has higher environmental impact.

      Way to look at the big picture, guys!

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