Tuesday, July 08, 2008

High oil prices change everything...

As energy cost spiral upwards strange reactions become commonplace. Consider the allure of (gasp!) coal.
As odd as the idea may seem, coal power in the gulf is just one more outcome of skyrocketing oil prices. In a world with dramatically disparate ideas on how or even whether to address the risks of global warming, demand for coal plants across the globe is growing rapidly to the detriment of efforts to increase the production of renewable energies such as solar, hydro and wind.

Nowhere is that demand more paradoxical than in the oil-rich Middle East. At the end of April, for example, the state-owned Oman Oil Company signed a memorandum of understanding with two Korean companies on the construction and operation of several coal-fired power plants. Dubai, for its part, is initially planning to build at least four large facilities with a cumulative output of 4,000 megawatts. Abu Dhabi also wants to get into the act. Even Egypt is thinking of constructing its first coal-fired plant on the shores of the Red Sea. [More]
People don't just whimper about high gas prices.  They look for alternatives. One is energy-dense coal. Now think about where it could come from.

Is it any wonder US railroads rank coal before transporting ethanol or grain?

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