Former Shows & Episodes

Clean Energy Radio

Clean Energy Radio – How Much Longer Do We Need Coal-Fired Power Plants?

In our quest for clean energy, is it possible that we dismiss some of the tough realities of providing power for 300 million energy-hungry Americans? We all want to get rid of coal (well, at least, most of us). But how practical is that — especially now, during a recession? On this week’s Clean Energy Radio show, host Craig Shields, editor of and author of Renewable Energy – Facts and Fantasies, interviews Dr. Marie Corio, CEO of Applied Economic Research, one of the world’s foremost experts in coal-fired power plants.

Listeners will like the way Dr. Corio handles herself on the show. Here’s a professional at the very apex of her field in terms of the analysis of coal-fired power plants, with a ridiculously strong command of metallurgy, thermodynamics, chemistry, and several other related disciplines. Yet she is somehow able to present all this at a level that is truly appropriate for a non-technical audience.

Another aspect of Dr. Corio’s approach listeners will like is her stalwart pragmatism. “I’m not an advocate for coal,” she said, “But I am an advocate for keeping the economy from falling back into recession. Abruptly cutting off coal would cause a huge spike in electricity prices that would drive many businesses under. I think that concern has to trump our other worries.”

This level-headedness is a refreshing break from the doctrinaire narrow-mindedness that we come across so often on both sides: both the rabid environmentalists who fail to grasp the full consequences of what they’re espousing, and some of the rightwing extremists who don’t perceive any responsibility to regulate business as necessary to take care of the only home we have.