By John McClaughry
Conferees from 195 countries are meeting in Madrid this week to wage more war against carbon dioxide. The climate hawks must be chagrined by the news that China, the world’s largest consumer of coal, is building or planning to build 148 thousand megawatts of new coal fired power plants within the next few years. That’s nearly equal to the entire coalpower capacity of the European Union according to an analysis by Global Energy Monitor, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that is passionately opposed to burning coal.
Vermont’s carbon dioxide emissions from all sources are about 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. Just one 1600 Mw Chinese coal plant would produce about as much CO2 in a year as all CO2 emissions in Vermont — coal, motor fuel, heating oil, natural gas and propane. The Chinese are building the equivalent of 92 1600 megawatt coal plants – each one putting as much CO2 into the air as everything Vermonters burn.
So if the green majority in the Vermont Legislature suddenly killed off 100% of our CO2 emissions, one 1600 Mw Chinese coal plant will restore all those emissions — and the Chinese are building 92 of them.
And the climate action crowd now wants us to join a 12-state group to impose a steadily rising new tax on motor fuel — the Transportation Climate Initiative — to meet our emissions goals? Gimme a break.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.