Holdren on Clean Coal and $7/Ton Carbon

December 29th, 2008

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

As co-chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy, John Holdren (President-elect Obama’s choice for science advisor) testified before Congress in 2005 (PDF) in support of “clean coal” technologies and putting an initial price on carbon of $7/ton while expanding the use of coal for electricity generation.. These views would appear to place Holdren strongly at odds with the more vocal wing of the climate apocolyptosphere which often calls for a much higher price on carbon and the bulldozing of coal plants. Both ideas may offer some cathartic relief to those espousing them but in reality are politically impossible. Holdren thus displays far more political realism than some of his supporters, setting the stage for some dashed expectations.

It will be interesting to see what views Holdren (and the rest of the climate/energy team) ultimately present, and how these views are received. My guess is that the honeymoon won’t last long.

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