Evidence That Taxpayer Subsidies For "Sub-Prime Coal" Not Welcome In Indiana: 'Promote Renewables First'

Six hundred adults "living in private households in the state of Indiana" recently were asked the extent to which they supported State subsidy of co-called "clean coal" projects. The results were surprising, but make sense in light of recent developments in the political arena.

Why is clean coal considered a "sub-prime'" choice for government support?
Although the tag-line of 'sub-prime coal' (a characterization provided by the survey sponsor) has that spin sound, there is an appropriateness which stems from reactions to financial and political developments, recently shared by many US citizens. First, is that the investment banking/sub-prime mortgage crisis and the proposed Federal intervention, has raised suspicions about "big business' subsidies of any sort. Second, the US presidential debates have implanted in public consciousness the notion that both Presidential candidates support, to varying degree, "clean coal" subsidies. Below is a key survey summary finding, as reported by its sponsors:

Indiana residents do not favor proceeding immediately with two major coal gasification plants in the state. About four out of five states residents (81 percent) — including 72 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Independents — favor focusing first on renewable-energy technology, stepped up energy-efficiency measures and promoting "green jobs" versus moving ahead now (15 percent) with two new coal gasification plants for electricity generation and synthesized gas production for sale to gas utilities, as has been proposed by the Administration of Indiana Governor Daniels.
Indiana Energy/Climate Survey: Most In State Oppose More "Subprime" Investments In Coal, Nuclear Power

The backdrop for the survey findings includes estimates that that electrical power provided by "clean coal" could cost almost double the price of electricity generated by other means.

The job market for coal mining in Indiana is less than 3,000 (per the graphic); and this coal mining job market shows no indication of going strongly up or down on its own. Would be worthwhile to see the job change projections of coal mining and coal-fired power generating, combined, next to state-based renewable energy job growth projections.

Image credit:Indiana University, Kelly School of Business, Coal Mining in Indiana: All Fired Up or In the Pits?
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