Obama Campaign’s Illusion On Coal Power Plants

The Obama campaign is responding to posts like this ‘How Obama Supports The Coal Industry‘ by dismissing it as ‘“right wing blogs” that “wildly edited to take it out of context.”’ They go further to say that Barack actually said the opposite of what he actually said. ?? OK, so they are lying and the dumb masses will accept it rather than check it out for themselves. Consider this, have you ever known anyone, let alone a presidential candidate, that needed so many people to explain what he says? Or rather, to explain away what he says? Their problem is simple. When he actually says what he means, his surrogates come out to say that no, that’s not what he means. The whole Obama campaign has been an illusion in so many ways. But I digress.

To this subject, the Obama campaign added ‘“In the full interview Obama actually praises coal and says that the idea of eliminating coal is ‘an illusion,’” the campaign explained.’ They are word wizards for sure. In fact, Obama did praise coal (as a fossil fuel) as being responsible for about half of the electricity production in the country. He did not praise coal power plants that use it, and certainly not the building of more coal power generating plants. In fact, as far as coal power plants go, he wants to ‘take it off the table.’

Here are his words, not taken out of context.

What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as an ideological matter, as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

That is a statement, ‘for us to take coal off the table.’ His position is to take coal power plants off the table. That was not a conditional statement to use coal power plants in a cleaner way. He intends to NOT use it. He intends for the ‘caps and trade system’ to penalize any company that wants to build a coal-fired power plant, and if they are stupid enough to try it and risk bankruptcy, through fines that he defines as a ‘huge sum’ that he says ‘will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel, and other alternative energy approaches.’

Where am I missing the part that says, like his campaign claims, that the idea of eliminating coal is an illusion?

But don’t take my word for it. Here is the entire transcript from the above video. Then have the courage to call a spade a spade and recognize that the only illusion here is the Obama campaign’s spin on Obama’s own words.

Barack Obama: I voted against the Clear Skies Bill. In fact, I was the deciding vote. Despite the fact that I’m a coal state. And that half my state thought that I had thoroughly betrayed them. Because I think clean air is critical and global warming is critical. But this notion of no coal, I think, is an illusion. Because the fact of the matter is is that right now we are getting a lot of our energy from coal. And China is building a coal-powered plant once a week. So what we have to do then is figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon. And how can we sequester that carbon and capture it. If we can’t, then we’re gonna still be working on alternatives. But…let me sort of describe my overall policy. What I’ve said is that we would put a cap and trade policy in place that is as aggressive if not more aggressive than anyone out there. I was the first call for 100% auction on the cap and trade system. Which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases that was emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants are being built, they would have to meet the rigors of that market. And the ratcheted down caps that are imposed every year. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel, and other alternative energy approaches. The only thing that I’ve said with respect to coal–I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter, as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it. That I think is the right approach. The same with respect to nuclear. Right now, we don’t know how to store nuclear waste wisely and we don’t know how to deal with some of the safety issues that remain. And so it’s wildly expensive to pursue nuclear energy. But I tell you what, if we could figure out how to store it safely, then I think most of us would say that might be a pretty good deal. The point is, if we set rigorous standards for the allowable emissions, then we can allow the market to determine and technology and entrepreneurs to pursue, what the best approach is to take, as opposed to us saying at the outset, here are the winners that we’re picking and maybe we pick wrong and maybe we pick right.

related link:A ‘Dirty’ Fight

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