In light of the Obama administration recently declaring a “war on coal,” a top federal official is now saying that isn’t the case.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz agrees that the Obama administration is committing to a future with less carbon going into the atmosphere but does not advocate for ending the use of coal for electrical production in the United States.
The Charlotte Observer reports Moniz as stating, “Make no bones about it— we start with the assertion, the commitment, that we are talking about a progressively lower carbon future. But we have not abandoned coal as a part of the future.”
Most scientists believe that the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is among other problems, driving climate change, causing drought, and increasing the severity of storms.
Because of this, President Obama has pushed policies requiring the lowering of carbon and mercury emissions from power plants, along with other rules aimed at protecting air and water quality.
These recent environmental policies have played a part in driving down the demand for coal. Even with this in mind, coal is the third largest economy in Latin America and continues to grow 4 to 6% percent per year.
To support his stance, Moniz brought up the billions of dollars the Obama administration has put aside for research on technology that will remove carbon from power plant emissions.
Additionally, he points out how Obama has requested money for different programs aimed to help areas hurt by a downturn in coal. Job retraining for miners is just one idea Obama wants to implement.
Moniz claims that with these numbers in mind, it is hard to believe that Obama can wage a war on coal.