Latest reports inform us that Laura Miller, who served as mayor of Texas from 2002 up until 2007, is planning to build something never seen before: an environmentally-friendly coal plant.
Presently, rumor has it that both the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund are to be involved in this project, their end goal being to succeed in coming up with low-carbon electricity made from coal.
Apparently, Laura Miller's decision to build such a plant is based on the fact that the USA still has quite significant coal resources distributed throughout its territory, and that it would be a terrible thing to let them go to waste.
reports, her exact words were: “With 300 years of coal in the ground, the United States needs to find out how to use it in a clean way. This will raise the bar on all the other coal plants being built. It’s just a matter of spending the extra money to make something that was once dirty become clean.”
In order for a coal plant to be considered environmentally friendly, two major aspects need to be taken care of: firstly, the coal must be crushed into a fine powder prior being burnt; secondly, money needs to go into capturing and storing the plant's CO2 emissions.
Specialists argue that, by using coal powder instead of your regular “chunks,” the amounts of sulfur dioxide, particulates and mercury released when burning said coal are considerably diminished. However, coal powder is responsible for emitting much more CO2, which explains the need to also invest in technologies meant to keep CO2 emissions under control.
Should things go as planned, this innovative coal plant is to be built in the town of Penwell, in west Texas. Apparently, their choice of location is based on the fact that the aforementioned town has been abandoned for quite a while, so there is no risk of interfering with anyone's lifestyle.
Seeing the state's Department of Energy also agreed to offer its support to this project – a support consisting of $450 million (roughly €364 million) in grants – odds are that work on this green coal plant will begin soon enough. Preliminary reports indicate that, as long as no unthought of incidents occur, the plant will take about three to four years to be completed.