Kerry Plan Would Ban All New Coal Plants That Use Obsolete Technology
Today, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced the Clean Coal Act of 2007, which prohibits the construction of all new coal fired power plants in the United States unless they use state-of-the-art emissions reduction technology. The new technology limits the release of carbon emissions from power plants, which is one of the leading causes of global warming.
Kerry's bill will mandate that all new coal plants - including the approximately 150 new plants proposed throughout the United States in the next decade - use technologies that significantly reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
"Climate change is one of the most pressing and urgent issues facing our environment, our economy and our national security," Senator Kerry said. "We can - and must - find a better way to burn coal to combat the emissions that contribute to this crisis."
Currently, half of our electricity is generated from coal, which produces approximately 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. According to the National Energy Technology Laboratory at the Department of Energy, those numbers are only going to get bigger. Over 150 new coal-fired power plants are proposed for construction in the United States. Over their lifetime, those plants will spew an additional 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air.
"We have a ten year window to address global climate change, and demanding we burn coal in a clean way is an important place to start," Kerry added. "This bill is the number one solution to global warming. Unless we can build clean power plants, we should not be building them. I urge my colleagues to join me in setting this important standard for coal plants."
On Monday, Kerry introduced a bill that will combat the pollution generated by the Capitol Power Plant in Washington, DC, by mandating that the Capitol Complex be carbon neutral by 2020. Kerry's bill makes Congress practice what they preach by taking on dirty sources of energy right in its own backyard.