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March 1, 2007
TXU and global warming
The proposed buyout of TXU Corp by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is an example of fashion over technology when it comes to global warming. Reacting to the public hysteria over the issue, KKR has promised to halt the proposed construction of eight out of eleven future coal-fired generating stations. Which begs the question, where are we to get the resouces to meet our future energy needs?
Setting aside the debate over the need for carbon dioxide reduction for a moment, there is no question we will need energy. So where are the practical sources? The United States has been called "the Saudi Arabia of coal". We have centuries worth of coal domestically. The issues have been with pollution, including carbon dioxide, from the combustion of the coal. To address those concerns there have been efforts to design zero emission coal fired generating plants. FutureGen is a prime example. With regard to cabon dioxide, the plan is to sequester it in geologic formations, such as depleted oil reservoirs. So logically, we would want to site such revolutionary power plants near sources of coal and near depleted oil reservoirs. Where would one find such a great location? TEXAS! TXU already owns a large supply of coal. The pandering to the environmentalist crowd embodied in the KKR proposal runs counter to the country's energy future. Rather than reducing the number of coal fired plants in Texas, we should be planning to build innovative future generation clean coal plants there.