Comment from Minchew, Jackie
All that you will hear about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rather simply stabalizing them, is true and reason enough to begin phasing out coal as an energy generating source in Washington. But there is more, as I suspect you know. U.S. coal production is now projected to peak, for all practical purposes, as early as 2015. (See "Blackout: Coal, Climate and the Last Energy Crisis" by Richard Heinberg.) With China projected to peak and go into decline as early as 2020, it is easy to see that coal will grow progressively more expensive, lower in net energy and, ultimately less available as all developed nations vie aggressively for remaining global supplies. This includes consideration of transport bottlenecks and the increasingly high expense of mining lower grade and harder to mine coal. Phasing out coal and investing heavily in conservation, efficiency and, especially, green energy is the right thing to do. So do it. Don't dither. Just do it.