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Clean coal still pollutes, move to renewable fuels

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I sat reading "Future energy needs still depend on coal" published June 27 and my jaw just about hit the floor. How could the Bemidji Pioneer publish this in the same month that Popular Mechanics, Popular Science and Scientific America all published articles debunking these myths. The scientific reality is that "clean coal" is impossible. You cannot clean coal, you can transfer the problem from one medium to another but it is still pollution. It does not matter if it is air, water, or ground, it still contaminates.

Setting aside the environmental aspects, the reality still remains that we need to get off coal and oil for one very important reason. They are finite resources. This means we will run out! Steve Van Dyke asks, "If not coal, then what? What's going to make up that volume of fossil fuel?"

Well I have an answer: geo-thermal. Prov-en to be able to hold base load, geo-thermal is your answer for full uptime electric. Another concept the Germans came up with is a wind turbine grid. As we all know the wind does not always blow here or there. Here is the key to their idea; the wind is always blowing somewhere so you use a smart grid of wind turbines to shift the load as the wind changes.

I am personally sick and tired of the same non-answers from the U.S. energy companies. They keep saying wind, solar and geo-thermal are all too expensive. Well here's the thing, these are all technologies and they all suffer from the technology learning curve. This means research and development needs to be paid for prior to the product being produced. In effect what this means is that as more units are sold the product gets cheaper.

Think back to the first cell phones, CD players, DVD players or the first computers. However, we use all of these devices day to day now and they are all in reality cheap. Now, if these energy companies spent as much money, time and energy on renewable energy as they do on trying to sell us on "clean coal," we would not have an impending energy crisis and we would be watching our electric costs go down instead of up! Where is the American "Do or die" spirit? Apparently it has been eaten by American greed!

Chris Asendorf

Bemidji

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