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Asian Economic Development Could Stimulate American Jobs Creation

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham writes in the November issue of Foreign Policy cover story, “America’s Pacific Century:”

“Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade and access to cutting-edge technology. Our economic recovery at home will depend on exports and the ability of American firms to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia.”
The Center agrees.  American exports to Asia could do for America what Chinese exports to America have done for China: help in creating double digit economic growth.

How will Asia create such a vast new consumer base?  It will need significant new electricity production.  How will this electricity production be fueled?  In the real world, it will be fueled by coal.  And some of this coal will be exported from the United States. 

So what is an environmental group to do in such a situation?  Simply oppose coal-fired electricity production in Asia?  Oppose coal exports from the United States?  What about global warming, smog, mercury pollution and Critieria Air Pollutants?  Yet, there are only two effective ways to reliably produce baseload electricity: 1) coal and 2) nuclear power.   Nuclear does not produce pollutant emissions.  So Asian nations can build more nuclear power plants.  But coal is cheap, plentiful and will probably be the leading fuel for Asian electricity production. That takes us back to the original question.

The Center will be recommending Asian nations to adopt the most efficient and environmentally friendly technologies in burning coal.  This includes integrated gasification combined cycle with selective catalytic reduction emission controls and other emissions controls technologies. (Wash Post, 111/8/2011)