"Organizers of a series of West Virginia rallies against the global warming bill working its way through Congress argue one of their goals is to 'save coal.'
But will the Obama administration-supported 'cap-and-trade' legislation really kill the coal industry?
Experts disagree, and no one really knows how big a hit coal might take.
Coal could be saved if scientists and engineers perfect and utilities widely deploy equipment to capture power plant greenhouse emissions and store them safely underground. But many experts are worried about the growing evidence of cost and technical hurdles that could delay or rule out such efforts.
Still, other coal supporters -- the United Mine Workers union among them -- point out that the House-passed bill provides unprecedented funding aimed at trying to make that technology work, and help coal remain competitive in a world where carbon dioxide emissions are capped.
'This is a responsible measure. It is carefully balanced," said Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. "It enables coal usage to grow as the demand for electricity increases.'"
Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette July 18, 2009.
"Protesters Say No to Cap-and-Trade" (Charleston Gazette)