Another Clean Coal Scam Exposed

Clean Coal: A One-Way Ticket to the Poorhouse

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted August 19, 2015

kemperdneA supporter of “clean coal” is like a child ...

He knows he has to clean up his mess, but instead of picking up all 100 pieces of his space legos set, he only gathers the three spacemen, sets them on the table, then nervously seeks approval.

I said it before, and I'll say it again …

Coal ain't clean. And there's nothing anyone can do to change that reality.

But sure enough, there are still a handful of “children” out there who will fight the death of coal, kicking and screaming all the way to the poor house.

Case in point: Mississippi Power, which was just downgraded by Moody's.

For $6 Billion ...

This subsidiary of Southern Company was recently hit with the downgrade as a result of its lack of permanent cost recovery provisions for its Kemper IGCC plant, which, since 2010, has promised to be the “first-of-its-kind” to employ gasification and carbon capture technologies at such a massive scale.

To date, construction costs have soared to more than $6 billion, with $270 million coming from the Department of Energy. Interestingly, I don't hear anyone in the GOP camp blasting this complete waste of taxpayer funds.

Regardless, this got me thinking …

For $6 billion, you can install a hell of a lot of renewable energy.

For instance, one megawatt of installed wind power will cost you about $2 million. So if you wanted to generate 582 megawatts of wind power, it would cost you roughly $1.16 billion.

582 megawatts, by the way, is what the Kemper power plant is supposed to deliver.

Of course, the wind doesn't blow 24 hours a day, but we still have another $5 billion to play with. You could buy a hell of a lot of solar panels and Tesla Powerwalls with $5 billion!

Jokes aside, $6 billion is a lot of money to pay for a power plant that relies on a resource which is both environmentally and economically inferior to renewables. Especially when you consider that once a solar or wind power system is integrated, the resources are inexhaustible and free.

And let's face it, this …


is a lot more appealing than this …


Bottom line: I couldn't be happier to see Mississippi Power getting downgraded as a result of its arrogance. I hope the whole project goes belly up, and the world can see just how much of a money pit this clean coal scam really is.

In the meantime, I'll continue to invest in renewable energy and all the other wonderful things that'll one day make coal-fired power plants as relevant as typewriters and VHS players.