One of the terms that is conveniently omitted from the carbon and climate change discussion is “stationary.” Coal-fired power plants are the largest stationary emitters of CO2. Remove the word stationary from that sentence and it makes the coal business look bad. The term stationary is used to distinguish power plants from internal combustion engines, which are a very large source of emissions worldwide. The auto and petroleum lobbies have much deeper pockets than the mining and power generation business, so the EPA, the environmental nongovernmental organizations, sovereign wealth funds and the Catholic Church overlook the automobiles churning out the smog in most of the metropolitans areas.
Environmental activists, for the sake of global climate change, convinced Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (Norges Bank Investment Management) to dump all of its coal-related investments. The people of Norway are the richest people on Earth. They (all 5.1 million of them) own the fund, which is estimated to be worth $890 billion, making each Norwegian worth approximately $175,000. Where did the fund get the money? Oil from the North Sea.
Vattenfall, another company suffering from carbon guilt, recently sold one of its power plants in Denmark (See World News, p. 6). Vattenfall is a Swedish power company, owned by the Swedish government; the same Swedish government that contributes to the Clinton Foundation. It’s also trying to offload its lignite-fired power plants in Germany. Readers should note that they are not converting the plants; they are selling them. The carbon footprint has not been reduced; they are just getting them off their books.
Finally, if coal didn’t have enough detractors, the Catholic Church has weighed in on the climate debate. Pope Francis published the Encyclical on Faith, the Environment and the Modern Industrial Economy. In it, he says climate change has grave implications. The world needs to get its priorities and facts straight. We have a much bigger job as far as educating the masses about the value of low-cost energy from coal than we ever perceived.
Steve Fiscor, Coal Age Editor-in-Chief