As covered in the New York Times and elsewhere, the US National Academy of Sciences has challenged thirty year old estimates of the sustainability of coal as a US energy resource. Maybe not the talking point "250 years" left after all. Maybe more like 100 years, or less. Depends on who you ask, and assumptions on consumption rate or prospective carbon tax levies. But definitely not 250. The NAS report, titled - Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy is available for purchase by download here. TreeHugger is not going to be doing anything to improve the precision of the coal reserve estimates. But, we do have a point about coal politics over the next two years.Look at the table (pictured above). Probabilities that US Senate or House of Representatives candidates from the the prominent coal states will be opposed to whatever is good for the world's climate will be in direct proportion to the coal reserves of their respective states. If several of these are "swing states" in the coming US presidential election, no serious presidential candidates will campaign on a platform that restricts or would add cost for control of coal emissions.
Via:: Daily KOS Diary