U.S. coal power boom suddenly wanes

Submitted by Betsey Merkel on Tue, 03/04/2008 - 18:58.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

U.S. coal power boom suddenly wanes

Worries about global warming and rising construction costs give the edge to natural-gas and renewable-energy plants.

By Mark Clayton | Staff writer

from the March 4, 2008 The Christian Science Monitor

"What you're seeing is a de facto moratorium on coal power right now," says Robert Linden, a senior oil and gas analyst at Pace Global in New York. "You turn off the money spigot, you've turned off those plants."

Aside from the 28 or so coal-fired power plants already under construction, prospects remain tenuous for the half-dozen plants "near construction" and another 80 plants not nearly as far along, says Steve Piper, managing director of power forecasting at Platts, the energy information division of McGraw-Hill. "Expansions [of existing plants] still have a good chance. But others will come under increased pressure for deferral or outright cancellation."

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"No Coal" From Metropolis & Architecture 2030...

No Coal Photo

Face It: Winners Announced and a Dispatch from the West

By Sandy Stannard

Posted March 5, 2008

No Coal.
It was the message that spread like a west coast wildfire through the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus as students engaged in the “Reverberate” competition, part of Architecture 2030’s Face It events. The competition, aimed at universities around the country (see our previous coverage from Pratt’s campus), charged students to broadcast the message about the negative impacts of coal on our natural ecosystems and its role on greenhouse gas emissions. The tools required to participate in the competition were a 21st century blend of low and high tech: non-toxic body paint and digital cameras. During the roughly 24-hour charrette, students produced face and body paint designs that conveyed the “no coal” message as directed by the competition. At Cal Poly, students and faculty wandered around campus, into classes and faculty gatherings with painted faces that ranged from stark “NO COAL” scrawls to artfully illustrated American flags urging students to cast their votes with the environment in mind. A city and regional planning student summed it up this way: “The entries varied in meaning: some depicting strong political messages about health and environmental impacts, while others took a positive approach by displaying a set of alternatives to coal.”

At Cal Poly, the Reverberate competition - - along with the Focus the Nation, Global Warming Solutions for America, and Face It events - - brought together students from a wide range disciplines to take direct action on the topic of climate change. On campus, the event list was rich for the 4,500 attendees, with topical activities ranging from architecture to agriculture; from politics to poetics; from green jobs to green food. On the agenda was also Architecture 2030’s Face It webcast. Cal Poly joined a worldwide audience of 175,000 viewers as the webcast reminded participants of essential facts about global climate change and actions we can take in order to alter the course of our current consumptive trajectory.

Through their participation in the “Reverberate” competition, Cal Poly students have come to recognize that their work can affect the awareness of those around them. Through their involvement, they put their ideals into action. As future environmental stewards, these students have every right to ask: why are we all not doing the same?

A panel of jurors, including Metropolis editor in chief Susan Szenasy had over 225 face and body paint designs and approximately 30 videos to assess and the winners have been announced:

Face Color Winner: Emily Bibler, Iowa State University

Face B+W Winner: Jackie Fabella, Cal Poly Pomona

Body Winner: Miles Courtney, Pratt Institute

Metropolis Ad Winner: Jackie Fabella


To view all Face It entries, go here to see the body painting entries and here to watch the videos.

Sandy Stannard is an Associate Professor of Architecture, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

From: http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=3179 

A Great Rant - A Letter to the U.S. Coal Lobby


A Letter to the U.S. Coal Lobby: Why I Blocked Your Ad...

I'm a little bit angry right now. For the last 12 hours, unknown to me, the U.S. coal lobby has been plastering EcoGeek with B.S. ads for their B.S. clean coal campaign. I'm not really a big fan of helping to spread their heifer droppings so I've blocked the campaign.

But this somewhat rash action makes me feel like I owe the coal lobby an explanation. I just know they're all sitting in their basements right now thinking, "Why did EcoGeek block us...we're clean technology...aren't we?!" So, to put their weary little minds to rest, I'll answer them.

No...you're not green. You're full of crap.

Your industry turns mountains inside out, poisons the water of the rural poor in America and throughout the world. Your industry has never made an environmental move in its long and storied history without being forced to by a government. The promotional video for 'clean coal' at your lame PR site lauds a carbon sequestration plant that has now been canceled because it was determined to be pretty much impossible. The cleanest coal plants in the world still create more sulfer dioxide than the environment can deal with without acidifying the rain and the soil.

Of course, the future is in sequestering carbon, right? Pumping it into the ground so that it never hits the atmosphere. The problem is, building a sequestered carbon coal plant is actually more expensive than building a solar thermal plant. Why would we stick with you when solar is revving up to be cheaper than coal without expensive, unrealistic sequestration?

The only thing that makes you seem even a little green today is how extremely destructive you used to be. You cannot be, you will never be, green. Give up...go home...enjoy the next few decades because they will be your last.

We're moving on without you, and you're going to have to deal with that. Actual clean technologies are here now. We don't need you anymore. There are 45 gigawatts of renewable energy planned for the United States. You are not renewable...you are not America's Power...you are not the future and you sure as hell aren't green. Stop pretending.


Hank Green and the EcoGeek Team

From: http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1437/