3E Intelligence

A new report by the National Academy of Sciences in the US has raised serious questions marks about America’s coal reserves, according to an article in the International Herald Tribune today.

The report recommends the federal government to undertake a serious study to “determine the size and characteristics of the nation’s recoverable coal, with the goal of providing policymakers with a full account of these reserves within 10 years“. Current reserves might be seriously overestimated, says the report.

The future use of coal also poses other health and environmental challenges which need to be studied more carefully “to ensure that [coal] is extracted efficiently, safely, and in an environmentally responsible manner”.

This is the third report in three months that points to unreliable reserve figures on coal. See also our post of 10 May on the two other reports.

How can our policy makers make the right decisions on the future of our global energy if the basic information is basically flawed or sometimes even manipulated. This transparency issue seems to me the sine qua non of any serious energy or climate change policy.

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