Archive for Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nation’s top scientists urge penalties on coal, oil use

‘It’s not opinion, it’s what the science tells you’

May 20, 2010


— Ditching its past cautious tone, the nation’s top scientists urged the government Wednesday to take drastic action to raise the cost of using coal and oil to slow global warming.

The National Academy of Sciences specifically called for a carbon tax on fossil fuels or a cap-and-trade system for curbing greenhouse gas, calling global warming an urgent threat.

The academy, which advises the government on scientific matters, said the nation needs to cut the pollution that causes global warming by about 57 percent to 83 percent by 2050. That’s close to President Barack Obama’s goal.

“We really need to get started right away. It’s not opinion, it’s what the science tells you,” said Robert Fri, who chaired one of the three panels producing separate climate reports.

Fri was acting Environmental Protection Agency chief under President Richard Nixon and until recently on the board of American Electric Power Co., a major producer of carbon dioxide. “The country needs both a prompt and a sustained commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said Wednesday.

In the past, the academy has called climate change a problem, but it has never recommended a specific policy. The impetus for its bolder stance now was a set of questions posed by Congress on climate change and how to deal with it.

The cap-and-trade idea, which is supported by the Obama administration, has been proposed for several years in Congress but never passed the Senate. It would set overall limits on carbon dioxide pollution, but would allow companies to pollute more by paying for it and buying pollution credits from cleaner companies.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 1 month ago

The National Academy of Sciences? What do they know about science? Devo will tell us all we need to know about science, if we only give him the chance.

headdoctor 8 years, 1 month ago

I guess those Scientists are not up on the latest coal technology. Smart move, NOT. Lets reduce coal use so we can use more oil. Maybe the cap-and-trade system for curbing greenhouse gas should be applied to all hot air.

If a plant is converted or built with the modern pulverizing and exhaust gas use and filtering, it would be much better than using oil where they seem to be setting on their thumbs for any real improvements. Instead of working on a fixable solution the answer is always taxes or fines. Except for more money to throw away for the Government, how well has that worked out for changing things.

melott 8 years, 1 month ago

Well, not true from a climate change perspective. No one is removing CO2 now from either coal or oil burning to any extent. When burning coal, the energy nearly all comes from carbon. Burning carbon makes CO2, which is a greenhouse gas. For oil and gas a good part of the energy comes from hydrogen. Burning hydrogen makes water, which is no big deal. So, burning coal is worse from a climate change perspective.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

Remember merrill's suggestion, brownouts are a good way to enforce energy conservation. Ponder those words while you are sitting in your dark home this summer.

ACCCE1 8 years, 1 month ago

One of the best ways that the United States can reduce emissions is through the development and deployment of clean coal technology. To that end, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is working to advance policies that bring new, cost-effective technologies to the marketplace that will capture and safely store carbon dioxide from coal-based electricity plants. Coal remains critical to our nation’s economy as it keeps electricity reliable and affordable, and clean coal technology is the bridge to using coal with nearly zero emissions. This technology will also help create jobs. For information on how using Carbon Capture and Storage technology at advanced coal facilities could create 150,000 new jobs, visit

Cullen West - ACCCE

lounger 8 years, 1 month ago


Commenting has been disabled for this item.