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Coal on the ‘Hot Seat’ for NV Presidential Debate

November 15, 2007

Las Vegas, NV – Nevada has been in the national spotlight all week as the Democratic presidential contenders prepare to square off tonight. Ned Farquhar with the Natural Resources Defense Council says the candidates should shine the national spotlight on an issue that's generated a lot of heat in the Silver State -- whether or not to build more coal-fired power plants.

"This issue ought to come up, because there's about 100 proposals around the country to build new coal plants. That would just make a 50-year commitment to continued global warming pollution."

Farquhar says candidates debating in Nevada tonight may well offer the best hope when it comes to getting global warming solutions into the presidential debate.

"If the democratic candidates can't get a good plan out there for renewables and efficiencies, then who is going to do it anywhere?"

Farquhar agrees global warming is an international problem, and believes the next U.S. President will need to lead the nation to set an example.

"If China, which is building 1,000 megawatts of new coal a week, doesn't see the United States leading and saying, 'nope, no more conventional coal,' why would China slow down its program to build new coal plants? Why would India slow down?"

Advocates of the proposed plants say they are addressing global warming concerns by building plants that use cleaner technology. However, their arguments have not impressed one prominent national politician, Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who is stumping for a ban on new coal plants, both here and abroad.

Michael Clifford/John Robinson, Public News Service - NV