Our nation has a 250-year supply of coal, and emissions from coal-fired plants currently account for 40 percent of all U.S.-generated greenhouse gases.
To continue using this important resource while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, President Bush committed the United States to build the first zero-emissions coal-fired power plant, named FutureGen.
By demonstrating that coal can be used to produce electricity with zero emissions, FutureGen can simultaneously address three important issues: energy security, continued economic growth and climate change. FutureGen is a public-private partnership that will use cutting-edge technologies to generate electricity while capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide deep beneath the earth.
Researchers and industry have made great progress advancing technologies for coal gasification, electricity generation, emissions control, carbon dioxide capture and storage, and hydrogen production, but these technologies have yet to be put together and tested at a single plant -- an essential step for technical and commercial viability. The integration of these technologies is what makes FutureGen unique.
FutureGen embodies the president's approach to climate-change policy and, indeed, his overall environmental philosophy. Bush believes that we can resolve environmental challenges without harming our economy.
Through the president's vision,FutureGen will develop our ability to produce economical, coal-fueled electricity with carbon capture on a commercial scale. With FutureGen and the president's initiative to reduce automotive emissions, we will make enormous strides in addressing climate changes.
The president's policies are helping put America on a path to slow, stop and, as the science justifies, reverse greenhouse gas emissions while keeping our economy strong. This policy is reaping results.
Not surprisingly, the United States is outperforming the rest of world in addressing greenhouse gas emissions, proving that the president's policies are working. Throughout his tenure, Bush has taken aggressive steps to accelerate the pace of environmental protection while maintaining America's economic competitiveness.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a new rule to ensure that Americans continue to breathe cleaner air by significantly reducing air pollution from locomotive and marine diesel engines. When fully implemented, this landmark initiative will cut particulate matter emissions from these engines by 90 percent and nitrogen oxides emissions by 80 percent.
This diesel rule, along with an unprecedented commitment to addressing climate change, is just one of the many substantial accomplishments that make up Bush's environmental legacy.
Alan J. Steinberg is Region 2 administrator of the EPA.