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February 29, 2008

Western Guvs Still Googly-Eyed for "Clean Coal"

colorado, bill-ritter, clean-coal, western-governors-association,climate-changeWASHINGTON — Colorado Governor Bill Ritter urged the federal government to step up its pursuit of clean-coal technologies to better diversify the nation’s energy portfolio. “Blending cleaner forms of carbon-based resources with renewable resources like wind and solar will lead to a more secure energy future,” said Gov. Ritter. Ritter have his remarks at the National Governors Association annual winter meeting in Washington. The theme of the annual meeting and is "Securing a Clean Energy Future."

Unfortunately, the Governor suggested that Washington get more aggressive in providing incentives and other public-private opportunities to spur advances in clean-coal, coal-gasification, coal- to-liquid and other related technologies.

Ritter and others in the Western Governors Association have adopted a policy resolution encouraging acceleration in the development and deployment of alternative transportation fuels and vehicle fuel efficiency. The resolution was based upon a new report delivered to the Governors by their Advisory Committee on Transportation Fuels for the Future. Alternative fuels considered included biofuels (ethanol, biomethane/biogas, and biobutanol), bio- and renewable-diesel, electricity, coal-to-liquids, natural gas/propane and hydrogen.

Honestly, I wish my Governor was not pleading for advancements in clean coal and especially coal-to liquids. Ritter has had a very progressive energy policy thus far, and he has made renewables and the New Energy Economy his number one priority. But the political part of me gets it that part of the coalition that got him elected included mine workers and other union laborers. In other words, coal is big business in Colorado, and anyone working in energy out here knows it. The question is, how do we stabilize our growing energy needs and dependence on coal and then begin to scale it back?

Environmental groups have been very supportive of Ritter thus far, but his position on the elusive 'clean coal' may come back to haunt him.

Western Governors Association
Governor Bill Ritter Press Release
Cherry Creek News - Feb 23, 2008

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