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New Energy Secretary Chu: “Coal is my worst nightmare”

President-Elect Obama’s new Secretary of the Department of Energy has not been shy about the fact that the United States has to transition away from coal to survive.

In fact, Chu says:

Coal is my worst nightmare.

Dr. Chu, currently Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Stanford University professor, also says he doubts that carbon sequestration is an effective tool to save the coal industry.

Chu said existing pilot projects involving a few million tons of carbon dioxide sequestration are far too small to tell if the process would work on the scale needed.

“It’s sort of a research and development issue,” he said. “I think we have to do this if we’re going to go forward with coal, but it’s not a guarantee that we have a solution with coal.”

Chu, a Nobel laureate, can be seen below speaking on his thoughts on renewable energy at the Berkley labs. His remarks on coal begin roughly 28 minutes in.

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