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January 19, 2011

Does Issa Really Want Less Coal, More Clean Energy?

Rep Issa Are Darrell Issa's real energy concerns lurking in the shadows - or in an E&E Daily Story?

In a critique of the Department of Energy, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told E&E this week about his concerns about coal pollution and carbon:

"We are more dependent on imported energy. We are no cleaner in energy substantially than we were a generation ago because clean is not a percentage, clean is an absolute term. Our geography has more coal being burned than it did a generation ago. It has more natural gas being burned than it did a generation ago. So even though we've increased a few renewables, the absolute consumption of carbon fuel is up not down and more of it is imported."

Issa, the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has an opportunity to bring leadership on energy policy to his political party - a party that barely admits that carbon exists, nevermind climate change. His party has been defending the polluters that Issa understands are the problem.

Issa is clearly an advocate of moving off of coal, off of gas and to "absolute clean" energy with 100% renewables.

Now that he's out of the shadows, will other members of his party join him? Who is first? (We won't hold our breath - though given the air quality in most places in the country, we probably should.)

--Holly Shulman

Photo of Rep. Issa (right) being sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner, courtesy of Rep. Issa's website

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