In January 2009, Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States. Soon he will begin implementing his policies of change.
One such Obama policy is his cap-and-trade policy to lessen carbon emissions. In his proposed plan “every unit of carbon or greenhouse gas . . . emitted would be charged to the polluter,” which, in his own words, would bankrupt the coal industry. “If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It is just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that is being emitted,” stated Obama just a day before the election.
Roughly 50 percent of American energy is produced by coal.
In no way would President Obama’s rejection of his cap-and-trade policy mean he cannot carry out his crusade to eliminate greenhouse gases; he must simply go about it another way. Instead of bankrupting coal power plants, President Obama could give incentives to convert traditional carbon-emitting, fire-blazing, coal power plants into clean, eco-friendly, coal plants.
In a recent lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, Newt Gingrich presented two options for converting America’s coal production into clean coal that President Obama might find useful. The first is a new carbon composite known as Bucky Carbon. “Bucky Carbon is significantly stronger than steel and much lighter,” stated the former Speaker of the House. Newt explained that by capturing the carbon emitted from a coal plant, Bucky Carbon could replace steel and revolutionize the modern industry. The second possible usage of the carbon emitted from a coal plant is to inject the carbon below natural gas reserves. Mr. Gingrich explained that injecting carbon into very deep well at natural gas reserves, carbon pushes the natural gas closer to the surface. It is then possible to retrieve the once inaccessible gas. By investing in either of these two technologies, President Obama could achieve his mission to decrease greenhouse gases without crippling an essential part of America’s energy production, Gingrich argues.