Energy Secretary Rick Perry slapped down a question from a New York Times reporter on clean coal technology while touring an advanced coal-fired power plant Thursday.
New York Times reporter Carol Davenport asked Perry a question about exporting U.S. clean coal technology. Perry’s staff had told each reporter they would each be allowed one question, but Davenport asked a second question about a topic the tour had already touched on.
“Second question, President Trump used the term ‘clean coal’ very broadly, it’s kind of a big basket term,” Davenport asked. “Can you say specifically what this administration means precisely and technically when they use that term?”
“I’m not being facetious or rude here, but you just spent 30 minutes getting a really good education about what clean coal is,” Perry said.
“One of the challenges we have because of the last eight years of a clear anti-coal administration is that other countries have moved forward with the technology,” Perry said. “There are other countries that are making advances in clean coal technology that we historically led the world in. We need to get that edge back.”
Davenport was on a media tour of the Longview Power Plant near Morgantown, W.V.. Shortly before the tour, reporters were briefed on why the plant was exceptionally clean compared to traditional plants.
“Because of the efficiency of the plant we need less BTUs [British Thermal Unit, a traditional measurement of heat], to burn for the same amount of power,” Chad Hufnagel, an engineering manager at the plant, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “That means less emissions of NOX [Nitrous oxide], SO2 [Sulfur dioxide] and particulate matter.”
Longview also emits less CO2 than older coal plants while powering about 700,000 homes. The plant was the largest private investment in West Virginia’s history.
“The fact that we burn less fuel because we’re so much more efficient means less emissions,” Hufnagel said.
Perry was touring the Longview Power Plant specifically to see how a highly efficient clean coal projects worked.
Longview produces 700 net megawatts of electric power with a highly efficient heat rate of 8,700 Btu/per kilowatt-hour. That rate surpasses any other comparable coal-fired power plants in the country.
Perry was joined on the tour by West Virginia’s Senators Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito along with Republican Congressman David McKinley.
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