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Fred Palmer Discusses Plan for “Saving US Coal”




December 2, 2019 - Recently, Fred Palmer discussed the plan for "Saving US Coal" with Bill Reid, Publisher and Managing Editor of  

CoalZoom: We’re with Fred Palmer, senior fellow of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide, to talk more about the “Saving US Coal” campaign. Fred, you’ve partnered with internationally respected scientist, Craig Idso, in the “Saving US Coal” project. Let’s get down to some details about the plan please?  

Fred Palmer: In early January, Craig Idso and I, through the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change {CO2 Center}, will file and prosecute a petition at EPA to repeal CO2 Endangerment while securing positive findings of benefits to the Human Environment from enhanced atmospheric CO2 concentration. As an inherent part of our strategy and messaging, we will put the benefits of coal to electricity and coal conversion front and center. In doing so we will focus on human health and welfare resulting from it, showing always more people living longer and better because of coal, not in spite of it.

In further support of the Petition and as an educational tool, the Center will produce a series of videos in the Greening of Planet Earth, Confirmed series, establishing beyond doubt the validity of the positive CO2 science set forth in the original 1990s videos, the Greening of Planet Earth and the Greening of Planet Earth Continues. The Petition will also detail the ongoing CO2 Endangerment threat to the operations of remaining coal plants along with the opportunities that will be forever lost in new, coal conversion technologies if the CO2 Endangerment Findings are not repealed.

The promise of advanced Coal conversion technologies includes the prospect of substantial inroads by coal into the oil, carbon fiber and materials markets, with a return over time to record US coal production well over 1 billion tpy. CO2 Endangerment forever blocking the complete development of these technologies will be advanced as another reason for CO2 Endangerment repeal.

At the state level, the CO2 Center will develop full outreach to NARUC to ensure that our state by state messaging directed at unneeded regulated utilities “decarbonization plans” are understood by all NARUC members. The CO2 Center will also attend all relevant NARUC national and local events open to parties of interest and the public. At such time, we will advance the pro CO2 emissions, pro Coal electricity message and call for moratorium on further coal plant retirements, whether approved by regulators already or not.

The CO2 Center will build out to the maximum extent possible supporters and other pro fossil-energy activists to join in pushing for repeal of CO2 Endangerment and resisting Coal plant closures. State Coal Associations are a target audience for us and the goal will include convincing individuals and organizations to make financial contributions to ensure buy in and enthusiasm. Done correctly, we can create a grass roots rebellion against CO2 Endangerment through existing state-based coal associations and coal chain industry groups.

CoalZoom: And you have some important long-term goals as well?

Fred Palmer: Yes, we certainly do! The CO2 Center will work to keep Coal’s biggest cheerleader, President Trump, informed, interested and enthusiastic about Coal’s survival and possible revival. An essential part of this will be identification of the need to turn back the planned retirement of additional coal-based electricity generation ultimately requiring repeal of CO2 Endangerment. Similar efforts will be made at DOE, Interior and in both the Senate and House on a bipartisan basis. 

The CO2 Center has a new relationship with CoalZoom which will be fully developed to drive outside media attention to our repeal EPA CO2 Endangerment efforts, preservation of the remaining coal fleet while ensuring a legal and policy framework for new coal conversion technologies to flourish. CoalZoom’s partnership with us and its national and international footprint could well generate third party news coverage given our uniqueness. We will be the only Coal centric advocates at EPA urging CO2 Endangerment repeal advancing a pro CO2 emissions, pro Coal, Human Environment message.

Assuming sufficient funding, we would retain a Speakers’ Bureau, such as the Washington Speakers’ Bureau, to place the CO2 Center management in front of civic groups around the country to urge repeal of CO2 Endangerment and tell the story of Coal today and its promising future. Implicit in all of this, of course, is the need to educate on the life-giving benefits of CO2 emissions and how they enhance the Human Environment, on an equal footing with the coal story.

This is an ambitious undertaking, one that will be ongoing next year and for as long after as it takes. Assuming a receptive federal government environment, EPA success should be in place by 2022, with appeals still underway by the Green Left after the anti CO2 collapses at EPA. And the view here is civil society will be with us, no matter the hysteria of the major media. 

CoalZoom: It’s going to be a tough road ahead, Fred. What do you see as the biggest challenge you face?   

Fred Palmer: Our biggest obstacle will be adequate funding for Craig and I to devote ourselves to this effort over an extended period. Some support functions will be needed, but it will be the two of us carrying the load. These are clearly full- time jobs! 

CoalZoom: We’ll talk about funding next time. Fred, thank you very much for explaining your plans for “Saving US Coal” and we wish you success in this very important venture. 

Fred Palmer: Thank you very much, Bill. We appreciate it.


Fred Palmer