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Leading U.S. Coal Baron Declares ‘Clean’ Coal a Myth


Murray Energy CEO and determined Donald Trump ally Bob Murray had a moment of truth late last month when he declared “clean” coal development through carbon capture and storage a myth.

“Carbon capture and sequestration does not work. It’s a pseudonym for ‘no coal,’” said Murray, who heads the largest privately-owned coal mining operation in the United States.

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“It is neither practical nor economic, carbon capture and sequestration,” he told E&E News. “It is just cover for the politicians, both Republicans and Democrats that say, ‘Look what I did for coal,’ knowing all the time that it doesn’t help coal at all.”

Climate Progress Founding Editor Joe Romm describes Murray’s about-face as “stunning”, noting that Murray Energy is a member of the pro-CCS American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity and “has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to persuade the public that clean coal is the solution to global warming.”

Romm adds that “if we won’t be using coal in the foreseeable future, then we need to start an orderly reduction of existing coal plants — in contrast to Murray’s support for team Trump’s plan to boost coal use. It makes little or no sense to keep building new coal plants, since they will have to be shuttered prematurely and replaced with carbon-free energy. All that wasted capital would be better spent on sustainable, carbon-free sources from the start. This is precisely the calculus that more and more countries are starting to make today, including China.