Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of Death, Sex & Money, WNYC’s interview show about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.
Where We're Starting on Domestic Energy: Coal
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
As President Obama laid out his vision for domestic energy production in the future, calling for a drop of one-third in our oil imports, it's worth noting where we're starting from.
President Obama only mentioned "coal" once in his speech, but last year, it made up the largest share of domestic energy production at 45 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Only one percent of domestic energy production came from petroleum, 24 percent was natural gas, and nuclear made up 20 percent of domestic energy.
Check out these graphs from the U.S. Energy Information Administration:
Obama's underemphasis of coal comes as a major deadline for environmental regulation of Appalachian coal mining approaches. On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue final water quality rules regarding surface mines, or mountaintop removal mines, depending on which side of the issue you fall down on. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), the ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called on the president to reign in the regulators and "bring some additional oversight and help check the EPA's more abusive actions." [h/t Coal Tattoo]
It's another reminder that absent a major environmental catastrophe or workplace disaster, America's domestic energy production remains largely invisible. Starting tonight, Spike TV is looking to fill at least part of that void with its new reality show, Coal.