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Coal: A fuel for our future

August 26, 2013

Global use of coal is on the upswing. Although its share of U.S. electricity production has slipped from what it had been a decade ago, coal is the fuel of choice around the world....

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Aug-26-13 8:03 PM

It is interesting that West Virginia University has a mining research department of such, and yet I have never heard one idea from this university about how the electrical producing industry can make the burning of coal cleaner. Other research institutes and universities around the country seem to be light years ahead of what we do here in the Mountain State for both the mining and electrical producing industries. Is WVU really focused on the clean use of coal for the future? The citizens of this state need to ask questions to ensure that we are getting our money's worth.

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Aug-27-13 8:41 AM

Perhaps you should start with reading this column.

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Aug-27-13 6:47 PM

Coal:A fuel for our future is a title that would be defined as a misnomer. The very first sentence(Global use of coal is on the upswing),which I wholeheartedly agree, distorts the title of this column. The first sentence, which is true, will confirm the rapidly depleting use of a fixed natural resource that will eventually have to be replaced by another energy producing resource.

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Aug-27-13 10:37 PM

Worldwide deposits have coal as an energy source for another 5 score or more Guy. Why wouldn't we continue to use the cheapest form of energy known to man?

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Aug-28-13 3:46 PM

Aaron, I completely agree. Coal is currently the best and the cheapest form of energy available. However 5 score is not a long time. I will be 73 years old in October; however, it seemed only yesterday that I was 5 years old. We need to exhaust our energies in searching for another viable energy resource that has been effective as coal has been.

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Aug-28-13 4:37 PM

While I agree we need to look to coal's replacement, we shouldn't do it by throwing good money after bad. The Soloyndra's of the world, wasting tax payer money to the tune of $600B over the past 5 years in bankrupted companies, is not the route to go.

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Aug-30-13 2:40 PM

Somebody needs to make investments in unproven technologies -- else we would have no technology, everything is unproven at first.

The question is, who should bear that risk?

Implement a carbon tax, & private industry can decide which versions of which technologies to invest big bucks in -- w/o a government guarantee.

However, the government will still have to fund most of the basic research (whether in government labs, or through grants to university researchers). & maybe a few other things. But private (a.k.a. corporate) industry can do most of it.

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Aug-30-13 7:06 PM

I just wonder how much of a cut in the money the "Friends of Coal" are channeling to Mr. Peng to write this op-ed?

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