Clean coal

December 26, 2012 

KURT LEWIS, Richland

Richard Badalamente (Letters, Dec. 14) writes an interesting commentary regarding the hazards of burning and transporting coal.

However, discussion of clean coal technology and dust suppressants are absent. Clean coal technology removes or reduces pollutant emissions to the atmosphere -- chemically washing minerals and impurities from the coal, treating the flue gases with steam to remove sulfur dioxide, capturing carbon dioxide from the flue gas and removing moisture from coal to improve the amount of energy converted to electricity.

And we do have dust-suppressant sealants to minimize transfer of coal dust to human lungs and the environment during shipments. Our nation has become so polarized with positions regarding hydroelectricity/killing fish, nuclear power/radiological release, coal and oil pollution, the concern regarding chemicals used to tap shale gas -- the list numbs the mind. We need balance between the Environmental Protection Agency and its strangling regulations with continued improvement with application to energy usage.

And with balance comes compromise; something that none of our elected political officials seem to be able to do. They will block drilling oil, but they will give America's last round of stimulus money to buy wind turbines from China. I rest my case.

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