Gore coal pledge "short-sighted": union
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - America's main coal mining union said on Monday former Vice President Al Gore's Live Earth concert pledge to fight for a ban on new coal-fired power plants was "short-sighted."
And the main trade group of mine operators backed the union, saying it was premature to call for an end to coal-fired electricity generation when the technology to reduce greenhouse gases is still being developed.
Gore urged fans at the concerts held around the world on July 7 to commit to a seven-point pledge to cut carbon emissions and to lobby governments and employers to do more to save the planet.
The third point on the pledge states: "To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2."
Approximately 50 percent of current U.S. electricity is generated by coal-burning plants.
Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), said the union had no official comment on the pledge, but that it supported the concept of carbon capture and sequestration.
"We believe it is the way to go, but we also believe a moratorium on any new plant is somewhat short-sighted as it could be years before the technology is developed, while the need for power is now," Smith said.
"You are not going to be able to stop burning coal to generate electricity. And if you do not build new plants in the next 10 to 15 years, you will be relying on current plants," he said. Smith said current plants were much cleaner than plants built in the 1970s and 1980s.
Carol Raulston, spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, said: "The industry is working very hard with its utility customers on carbon capture and sequestration."
"But the technology is not fully available at this time and so one has to balance growing energy needs with when the technology will be available," said Raulston.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this