1. Rod. Fascinating. But…aren’t there coal mines in Colorado, also? Kind of confusing.

    1. Meredith – funny you should ask about the Colorado coal mining industry. At the very end of the panel discussion, there was some time for comments and questions from the audience. The very last speaker was a rather strong looking gentleman who could have easily passed a Marine Corps hair inspection. Here is what he had to say:

      My name is Craig Meis. I am a Mesa County Commissioner, also club 20 Board of Directors.

      I want to provide just a touch of a west slope perspective to the conversation because I appreciate the conversation that you are having here. One of the things that you’ve talked about is whether it (the Colorado Clean Air – Clean Jobs Act) is transferable or how it relates to other areas and how it might move. I hope that one of the lessons learned through this process which could be gained here today is by expanding the tent. What Ms. Rudolph talked about from the standpoint of especially those of us in Western Colorado, I have to say would have very much liked to have been a part of that tent discussion.

      We appreciate that front range has air quality issues to address. I hope that front range also appreciates that we have 10% unemployment on the Western Slope. We fully support clean air, clean environment, clean jobs.

      We also like to HAVE jobs. Needless to say northwest Colorado is blessed with abundant natural resources being coal, being natural gas, being uranium, many others. Water, we can all talk about water here as well. But we would hope that future discussion would expand that tent to include these local areas which are blessed with both of these natural resources.

      And I have to tell you, I think the bottom line is that we could have achieved the same outcome without making a mortal enemy out of a brother in the coal industry as well as those of us in local government in these areas that are not going to have to try to deal with some of the potential job layoffs as a result.

      Moderator: Thanks for the comment. (Otherwise, nervous silence from the panel.)

      1. It’s really tough, trying to figure out about coal. At one level, I hate it. At another level, I am grateful for it. I look around at the forested hills of Vermont and know that they were once denuded for firewood. Then people began using coal for heat, and ultimately moved to natural gas. I like the trees on the hills…

        We need more nuclear plants. Even enough for home heating, I think.

  2. Rod,

    I watched a couple of the videos that you posted – indeed they are absolutely fascinating (riveting is the adjective I’d use). The speakers complaining about being ‘locked out’ from the lobbying process sort of reminded me of the rich guy complaining because he doesn’t have a yacht with a dining room and an upper deck, just a regular yacht.

    Still, I have to give best wishes in their fight against coal. As much as I dislike gas, I absolutely detest coal, and I think that they could get rid of the worst polluters (as the Mr. Kennedy intimated in his talk).

    However, I’m not sure they will have much luck. Lobbying power aside, I know that lots of utilities will not forget the price spikes in all-too-recent history and this will probably dampen enthusiasm considerably.


    (ps wrt mr. kennedy – do you have a speech/talk of his which was vehemently anti-nuclear? I found his approach rather intelligent, and rather sincere – he knew about externalities, and even though was in front of a natural gas crowd, didn’t hesitate to mention natural gas’ downside in his talk. I wonder what the hell he is thinking wrt nuclear energy if he indeed an anti-nuke.. perhaps playing to his base..)

  3. In developed nations some of this happens, because not too many new plants are built. But in the developing world there is none of this. The nations like Vietnam, India, of course China, even countries like Bangladesh, they are just going for all 4 main technologies. Hydro, natural gas, coal and nuclear.

    If India builds 1000 GW of capacity by 2050.. it will only have about 1/4 the electric capacity per capita as America does in 2010. So in a wildly optimistic scenario for nuclear where 300 GW is built between now and 2050. That leaves 700 GW for other technologies.

    Even for America if you assume a 1% annual population growth and a 1% per capita consumption growth.. By 2050 we will need another 1000 GW of capacity.

  4. I’m afraid Kennedy follows the NRDC anti-nuclear line, with ridiculous statements like if we’d only build a bunch of windmills and solar farms “we’d have free energy forever.” Yes, I’m afraid that is a direct quote I heard in person, in a speech where he also dismissed nuclear using a few of the typical bogus antie clich

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