A Massive Step Backwards on Energy

Yeah, the recent push for coal as a substitute for oil isn't helping matters:

In a report destined to frustrate advocates for global action on climate change, the Paris-based International Energy Agency projected Tuesday morning that in five years' time, the amount of coal burned around the globe every year will increase by an additional 1.2 billion metric tons -- an amount roughly equivalent to the current annual coal consumption of the U.S. and Russia combined.

I know coal burning technology has come a long way, but it's still a huge step backwards. It's still dirty, it's still risky to mine, and it's still finite.

  • JMAshby

    The problem is this isn’t happening in the U.S. Other countries are burning more coal and we can’t tell them how to power their cities.

    We are the ones exporting a lot of it though.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    I thought coal use was shrinking because of the expansion of natural gas? Or is that only in industrialized nations such as ours? The only way that project makes sense is if the coal increases will occur in developing nations…….

    • Draxiar

      That’s what the cited article states. China and India are consuming coal in massive quantities and that consumption is counterbalancing the U.S. reduction.

    • trgahan

      In the US, yes, natural gas has clobbered coal as the primary source of utility base-load production. Of course, talk to a coal person on the street and they will say it’s Obama and regulation killing them…but in their own board meetings they admit it is actually utilities switching to natural gas.

      That is why every major coal company in the US is looking to start exporting the majority of the coal mined here. For developing nations, it is the cheapest means of increasing energy production.

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        So not only are we one of the world’s biggest polluters we now help others pollute more by selling them coal? Lovely