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Clean coal

Alex Miller

It’s therapeutic to cuss the utility companies when we get the bill ” especially in mid-winter when the monthly bills push past the $200 mark and we wonder who’s getting rich off all this (we only know it isn’t us).

Last week, though, Xcel Energy ” a company not often subject to praise from anyone ” announced a ridiculously sane proposal that seems almost incomprehensible in these dark Bush days: building a new generation of clean-coal power plant that will capture most of the carbon emissions.

This has implications for Eagle County, since the main utility around here, Holy Cross Energy, gets its juice from Xcel.

Now granted, digging stuff out of the ground and burning it to create energy still seems like an awfully prehistoric way to power our computers, fridges and furnaces. But until we make the next logical leap to clean energy from wind, solar and hydro, at least let’s clean up the junk we’re spewing into the air from our power plants.

What, you don’t believe in human causes of global warming? Doesn’t matter: Reducing air pollution is simply a good thing to do. Just ask the millions of Americans suffering from asthma, empysema, lung cancer or other respiratory ailments. Slowing down the release of toxic, carcinogenic and greenhouse gases into our atmosphere makes good sense on every level, even if it increases slightly the already painful price we pay for energy.

Hopefully, Xcel’s move will spur other utilities across the nation and world to follow suit.


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