Written by Claire Christensen, leader with Washington University’s Green Action
Toss a handful of college students and a few community members into a National Coal Council Coal Policy Committee gathering and what do you get? A canceled meeting and an early lunch.
The National Coal Council would be reviewing a final draft of a study on deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies and would present their findings to the Secretary of the Department of Energy Steven Chu.
So what’s so bad about carbon capture and storage technologies? In itself, absolutely nothing. In fact, I strongly encourage it. However, when it’s used as an excuse for America to CONTINUE using coal it is simply unacceptable. The label “Clean Coal” is false advertising and purposefully misleading.
According to a study by Dr. Paul Epstein, Director of Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment called, “Full Cost Accounting for the Life Cycle of Coal,” published in 2011 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,
Each stage in the life cycle of coal-extraction, transport, processing, and combustion-generates a waste stream and carries multiple hazards for health and the environment. These costs are external to the coal industry and thus are often considered as “externalities.” We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually.
Industries need to stop funding false solutions and tackle the real problem: the use of a dirty, inefficient resource that harms the climate through emissions, our country through its extraction, and our people through its presence. As conscious citizens, we have to draw attention to the use of coal propaganda and its detrimental affects to our country and our future.
On Tuesday at about 11:10 a.m., only ten minutes into the Coal Policy Committee’s meeting, students from Washington University’s Green Action group and activists from Climate Action St. Louis unfurled a banner declaring “Coal is Never Clean” and sang “Clean coal is a dirty lie.” As a member of Green Action, I took pictures to document the members of the St. Louis community standing up for what they believe in.
The National Coal Council meeting stalled as the police escorted us out of the building. The committee then canceled their meeting early, had lunch, and disbanded. Continue reading ‘Students and Community Shut Down National Coal Council Meeting in St. Louis’