Clean Coal Dreams and Climate Realities

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Half of all electricity in America is generated from coal. As oil wanes and world energy demand grows, coal's role is destined to only grow bigger.

The problem is, coal is dirty. Carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants are a major contributor to global warming.

Five years ago, the Bush administration announced what it called one of the boldest steps the nation has ever taken toward a pollution-free energy future. A big project to bury CO2 in the earth — forever. Last week, it pulled the plug.

This hour, On Point: clean coal dreams in trouble, and what that means for the environment and the economy.Guests:

Keith Johnson, reporter for The Wall Street Journal and lead writer on the paper's "Environmental Capital" blog.

Howard Herzog, principle research engineer at MIT's Laboratory for Energy and the Environment.

Jeff Goodell, author of "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future."

This program aired on February 7, 2008.


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