A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy, cited in an Associated Press report in the Houston Chronicle, said 159 coal-fired plants are scheduled to be built over the next decade, enough to power 96-million houses.
Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said an end to coal burning is the No. 1 solution to global warming; so far, no coal-fired plants can capture carbon dioxide emissions so they are not released into the atmosphere.
While burning oil and natural gas also release carbon dioxide, Hansen said, they will run out and there’s more coal to burn and pollute the Earth, so it’s more of a threat.
His call coincides with a decision by the private equity group buying TXU, a massive Texas-based utility, to halt 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.