“Clean Coal” Plant Billion$ Over Budget Should Just Give Up And Burn Natural Gas

Click to enlargeWilliam Widmer/Politico

Round and round the money goes and where it comes out nobody knows

❝ A coal gasification plant in development in Mississippi is more than $4 billion over budget and years past deadline — and now it may have to rethink plans to burn gasified coal in favor of cheaper natural gas after a recommendation from state regulators.

The recommendation was made to prevent potential rate increases as the Kemper County plant continues to face cost overruns. Kemper was supposed to be up and running by 2014, for less than $3 billion. But the plant has now run up a $7.5 billion tab and may need redesigns on a critical part, a process that could take up to two years to complete, according to E&E News. No official decision has been made yet, but the Mississippi Public Service Commission made it clear last week that burning cheaper natural gas instead of gasified coal may be a long-term solution for the facility…

❝ According to a carbon capture and storage project database maintained by MIT, plans for Kemper started in 2004 but “costs began increasing almost immediately, especially once construction began in 2010 and the company discovered that many of the original designs needed major changes.” Specifically, pipe thickness and metallurgy appeared to have been miscalculated, and, after those changes were made, the support structures for the pipes had to be changed…

Fossil fuel pimps rant and rave against subsidizing any projects for alternative energy. At the same time, it’s business as usual for coal-based plants getting billion$ in subsidies and forgivable loans to keep on cranking out projects that don’t do a damned thing other than suck up taxpayer money and spew out pollution.

Clean coal chemical spill puts up to 300,000 in danger

A chemical spill into a West Virginia river has led to a tap water ban for up to 300,000 people, shut down bars and restaurants and led to a run on bottled water in some stores as people looked to stock up.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency Thursday in several counties because of a chemical spill into the Elk River.

The advisory was expanded at night to nine counties and includes West Virginia American Water customers in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane counties…

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources told NBC affiliate WSAZ symptoms include: severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering…

Residents were told not to drink the tap water, bathe in it or cook with the water and only use it for flushing and fire emergencies. Boiling it will not remove the chemicals.

“Right now, our priorities are our hospitals, nursing homes, and schools,” Governor Tomblin said in a statement. “I’ve been working with our National Guard and Office of Emergency Services in an effort to provide water and supplies through the county emergency services offices as quickly as possible…”

West Virginia American Water did not provide a timeline for the clean-up process, but the company’s external affairs manager Laura Jordan told Reuters that the spill originated with Freedom Industries, a Charleston company…

Clean coal from Freedom Industries. Severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering are all you have to worry about.

Another non-stop example of crap ideology telling folks their freedom is being protected by burning coal instead of those commie pinko alternative energy plans. Just listen to the politicians and pundits who supplement their salary with kickbacks from coal companies – and everything will be all right.

Probe finds more forged letters from “Clean Coal” lobbyists

U.S. congressional investigators said Tuesday they have uncovered five more forged letters sent to Congress regarding energy and climate legislation.

The letters are designed to make recipients think they were sent by senior centers and elderly services organizations, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement.

Markey, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said the five letters released Tuesday bring to 13 the number of fraudulent letters sent by the Washington lobby group Bonner & Associates. The firm was subcontracted by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity to lobby Congress.

The 13 fake letters purport to represent nine different community groups, including the non-profit Erie Center on Health & Aging; the Charlottesville, Va., NAACP chapter; the Hispanic advocacy group Creciendo Juntos; and the American Association of University Women.

“We’ve seen fear-mongering with our nation’s senior citizens with healthcare, and now we’re seeing fraud-mongering with senior citizens on clean energy,” Markey said.

These letters are about as authentic as any of the alarums raised by Republican Do-Nothing politicians in Congress.

This just happens to concern a single issue; but, the Party of No is pretty consistent about lying and cheating when confronted by attempts to change business as usual in American politics.

In case I haven’t noted this, lately – I happen to be certain that “clean coal” is a possibility. Seems like fairly reasonable science. But, the fossils in charge of the industry are accustomed to getting their way via the usual channels of sleazy corporate politics, glossy advertising and backroom deals. Doesn’t help their cause at all.

German power company leads with “clean coal” pilot station

Beneath the gargantuan grey boiler towers of Schwarze Pumpe power station which pierce the skies of northern Germany, a Lilliputian puzzle of metal boxes and shining canisters is about to mark a moment of industrial history. This mini power plant is a pilot project for carbon capture and storage (CCS) – the first coal-fired plant in the world ready to capture and store its own CO2 emissions. Next week the pilot – an oxyfuel boiler – will be formally commissioned.

A cloud of pure oxygen will be breathed into the boiler. The flame will be lit. Then a cloud of powdered lignite will be injected. The outcome will be heat, water vapour, impurities, nine tonnes of CO2 an hour, and a landmark in clean technology.

The CO2 will then be separated, squashed to one 500th of its original volume and squeezed into a cylinder ready to be transported to a gas field and forced 1,000m below the surface into porous rock where it should stay until long after mankind has stopped worrying about climate change.

The plant operators, Vattenfall, have worked furiously for two years to get the pilot running. They funded the 70m-euro project themselves because they wanted to lead a technology they believe solves the conundrum of providing energy security through plentiful coal supplies whilst avoiding the CO2 emissions blamed for climate change…

A little bit of time-wasting in the article, interviewing people with political views on the project and no interest in the science and economics.

We’ll know in a year or so whether progress towards a demonstration plant is justified – followed by realistic numbers on costs vs. benefits.