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Trump thinks clean coal is when workers mine coal and actually ‘clean it’

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ThinkProgress

How off the rails was President Donald Trump’s rally speech in Phoenix Tuesday night? He spouted utter nonsense on clean coal, and it didn’t even make CNN’s story, “Donald Trump’s 57 most outrageous quotes from his Arizona speech.”

Trump appears to believe that clean coal — which, it must always be pointed out, doesn’t actually exist — is when workers mine coal and then physically “clean it.” That does not happen, but facts have never stopped Trump.

Image provided by think progress

Image provided by thinkprogress

“We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it’s just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine,” said Trump, “where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal. They’re going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania, the second one.”

There are many misstatements or outright lies in those brief lines. First and foremost, “clean coal” is a fantasy. You can’t “clean it.” In terms of carbon pollution, coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels, so you couldn’t clean coal unless you could remove or capture all the carbon and bury it.

The phrase “clean coal” refers to expensive and mostly non-commercial technologies that reduce pollution and capture carbon dioxide when coal is burned.

Even Robert Murray, CEO of the country’s largest privately held coal-mining company, doesn’t believe in that. “Carbon capture and sequestration does not work,” he said last month. “It is neither practical nor economic.”

Second, there never was a “war on coal.” Indeed, as we reported last month, a leaked draft of the Department of Energy’s electric grid study concluded that factors like environmental regulations and renewable energy subsidies “played minor roles” in the shutdown of big coal plants.

Instead, coal has simply become uneconomic. “[Coal] plants that have retired are old and inefficient units that were not recovering their operations and fuel costs, much less capital cost recovery,” the draft report says.

Finally, Trump’s “second, brand-new coal mine” in Pennsylvania is actually a renovation and reopening project for a metallurgical coal mine.

The increase in the metallurgical coal market is largely being driven by China’s steel industry, not by any policies from Trump, as the Washington Post fact checker explained in June. The mine project will create, at most, dozens of jobs.

The Post gave Trump three Pinocchio’s for lying about the first coal plant back in June. These new statements deserves a lot more.

Source: ThinkProgress. Reproduced with permission.  

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  • juxx0r

    They don’t call it a wash plant for nothin.

    • john

      Mate a wash plant just washes out the extraneous matter attached and mined with the coal.
      Just remember a payment for coal is deducted due to water content and ash which is the content of coal and that extraneous matter, so it is important to wash the coal.

      • juxx0r

        Really it’s because they can’t pronounce beneficiation.

  • john

    The present person who holds the position of the President of the United States of America has issues.
    From a look at his persona and way he talks and interacts there are very strong parallels with previous emulations of people in power.
    This must send out warning signs to anyone who has even a slight grasp on the sociological make up of an individual.
    This individual as a case study exhibits very close parallels to Benito Mussolini, who also used facial and hand gestures to express himself.
    His whole outlook is extremely disquieting to put in politely.
    He is exhibiting the whole gambit of Fascist attitude.
    i am sorry there is no other way to say it the person is totally unfit for office for the leader of the western world let alone his one country.
    As to his understand of energy let alone “clean coal’ it is pathetic about the level of understand of a 5 year old kid.

    • Rod

      The parallels with Hitler’s rise during 1933-1938 are pretty close too.
      Quite a few Murdoch readers believe in clean coal too.

      • john

        Your not wrong Rod
        It is rather concerning frankly

    • Joe

      Just gotta luv The U.S. of the A. and their Trump problem. At the election half of eligible voters actually voted and the Trump got less than half of those votes ( he actually get a lot less votes in total number than Clinton ). So he gets around 25% of the total eligible vote but wins the day due to their voting system. Now they are stuck with a megalomaniac for another 3 plus years. The Trump was never fit for office. He has never held any public service office. His business career tells you all you needed to know about the dude and what he would do as President. He is a self centred bastard that has left a trail of destruction behind him wherever he has gone. It is and always has been purely about The Donald. People are just pawns for him to manipulate for his own private profit. As President it is just more of the same as he abuses and insults anyone or any organisation ( exhibit 1 – The Media ) that dares to question him. A President that tells lies all the time is not doing their country any good at a time when international relationships need to be nurtured. Impeachment is their only hope.

      • dorsett

        It’s actually even a bit worse than that.

        Only 67% of eligible voters are even registered, and only 58% of the registered voters turned out to vote. So in rough terms only 58% of the 67% = 39% of eligible voters voted, and only 46% of the votes went to the Republican candidate, 48% for Clinton (there were other small party candidates and write-ins making up the difference). Thus 46% of the 39%- fewer than 18% of eligible voters elected the Twitterer-in-chief.

        Being stuck with him for another 3+ years isn’t at all guaranteed. There is a real risk of impeachment despite the fact that his party is in charge. The rate at which he is offending the Republican congress members and attacking highly ranked Republican senators seems to be ramping up, then there’s the ongoing investigation of his campaign & cabinet by the special prosecutor, and he’s not really all that healthy. The certainty of his of surviving to serve a full term is highly questionable, becoming ever more questionable by the hour.

        • Joe

          Dorsi, thanks for drilling down into the nitty gritty of those stats. And to think that The U.S. of the A. is supposed to be the shining example to the world of what Democracy is all about.

  • Chris Fraser

    True, no such thing as clean coal. In Australia, we have been known to coat it in a waterproof lacquer and pass it around the front bench of Parliament like a prop.

    • Joe

      …err …but Scotty has now dropped his lump of CLEEEEEN COAL like a hot potato. He is on the back tracker now and has acknowledged publicly ‘outside of Parliament’ that Coal is no longer the future.

      • Peter Campbell

        If coal is no longer the future, I wish the COALition would say so a little louder.

  • john

    I will spell it out simply
    Thump is a personification of Fascism.
    There is no other word to put on it simple and true
    If you do not understand this then perhaps you need to read history.

  • Ken Dyer

    Wow! I did not know that clean coal existed. Isn’t it fantastic that we have such a smart president in President Trump to tell us that in fact it does exist in Pennsylvania, and finally, they are going to wash it to make sure it is really clean before they send it to market. Where can I get some? Do I have to dry it myself after it is washed? How do you dry coal? I am sick of all the dirty coal stuff you get elsewhere, it smells, and puffs out poisonous clouds of smoke when I try to dry it.

  • Ren Stimpy

    Way down in the valley where nobody goes
    There’s a wishy washy washer woman washing her coal
    She goes ooh aah
    She goes ooh aah
    And that’s how the wishy washy washer woman washes her coal

    • Joe

      Ren …that’s a Top 40 Music Charter right there

      • Ren Stimpy

        I want gold plated guns biotch, yo, and kilograms of chest bling biotch, yo, and the hottest ride ther fuckin is, biotch, yo. Gimme tha hottest biotches wit da snizziest criotches, yo. And ‘den we ready to sign on the dotted fuckin line biotch!

        And, um, can you get me one of those Autotune thingy’s too.
        Cheers, The McDuke

      • Ren Stimpy

        I probably better just stick to my day job.

  • Adam Smith

    Sorry to be a party pooper, however yes they do wash coal and yes it does reduce impurities in the product, including the ash content which is one of the main pollutants. Google CHPP.

    • Rod

      Among the hundreds of results from “googling” CHPP the only one alluding to cleaning coal didn’t mention anything about lower emissions.

      Link?