Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rainforest Action Network attacks Coal

By Alan Caruba

As always with the environmental movement, the very thing that keeps any modern nation going, energy and its sources, is under incessant attack. Coal is responsible for more than half of all the electricity generated in America, so naturally the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has announced a campaign directed “against two of the financial sector’s biggest funders of coal expansion in the United States.”

Oblivious of the nation’s growing need for electrical power to serve its more than 300 million citizens, RAN will hold a teleconference on October 2nd and release “a briefing paper detailing these bank’s contributions to the coal industry.”

One would almost think that these banks were funding concentration camps when, instead, what they are doing is insuring a steady supply of one of America’s greatest and cheapest reserves of energy, coal.

“People across the country are waking up to the threats posed by coal”, said the RAN news release. “The world’s dirtiest, most carbon-intensive and most heavily used energy source—and demanding that it be replaced by energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy sources like solar and wind.”

This is so idiotic and false as to almost defy comment. One would have to cover the whole of the land surface of America with wind farms and solar radiation facilities to even begin to generate a small portion of the amount of electricity Americans use every day. Both wind and solar are so inefficient and costly they depend on government subsidies and grants to even exist.

Wind farms only function when the wind is blowing and solar when the sun is shining. The rest of the time, when not drawing down on their stored energy, both require conventional energy generation facilities to fill in when they cease to provide electrical power. These latter facilities, sourced by coal, hydroelectric, or nuclear power, must be kept running anyway, so where’s the savings? Answer: None!

And Americans are surely not “demanding” more wind farms or solar energy. The cost of installing solar panels on an average home in New Jersey runs about $60,000.

“Coal power is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and a top contributor to air pollution, asthma and ecological destruction,” says RAN. Rubbish!
The U.S. has had air quality standards overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency since the 1970s and there is no evidence to support these claims. Moreover, new coal burning plants have technology available to trap carbon dioxide (CO2) before it hits the atmosphere.

The next time you see anything that RAN announces, I suggest you RUN to find the truth. It’s out there. You just won’t hear it from RAN.

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