Top global warming scientist wants
halt on new coal power plants, wants to bulldoze old
Feb 26, 2007 The Associated Press
One of the world's top scientists on global warming
called for the United States to stop building coal-fired
power plants and eventually bulldoze older generators
that don't capture and bury greenhouse gases.
But 159 coal-fired power plants are scheduled to
be built in the next decade or so, generating enough
power for about 96 million homes, according to a study
last month by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Burning coal is one of the major sources of carbon
dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas causing global warming.
In prepared remarks to be delivered at the National
Press Club Monday afternoon, NASA scientist James
Hansen, who has been one of the earliest top researchers
to warn the world about global warming, will call
for a moratorium on building new coal-fired power
Hansen's call dovetails with an edict by the private
equity group buying TXU, a massive Texas-based utility.
The equity group, led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts &
Co. and Texas Pacific Group, agreed to stop plans
to build eight new coal-fired power plants, not to
propose new coal-fired plants outside Texas and to
support mandatory national caps on emissions linked
to global warming.
Hansen's presentation to the press club says all
coal-fired power plants that do not capture and bury
carbon dioxide "must eventually be bulldozed (before
The director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space
Studies in New York, who was speaking as a private
citizen, said Congress should adopt these coal cuts
and if not, "citizens must accomplish this." He said
increased efficiency can make up for the cutbacks
Coal provides about half of the United States' electricity,
according to the Department of Energy.
Hansen's call "ought to be vetted by those who have
an understanding of the energy demands placed on the
U.S. economy," said National Mining Association spokesman
Luke Popovich. "When seen in light of those demands,
then statements like that will appear unreasonable,
to put it charitably."