Sierra Club's position on coal technology
If coal is to remain a part of our energy future, it must be mined responsibly, burned cleanly and guaranteed to not worsen global warming pollution.
At this time, there is no existing coal technology that meets these standards, including Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) or carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
Right now, there are no commercially available or widely demonstrated technologies including carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) that make it technologically possible or financially feasible to burn coal without accelerating global warming.
Due to the prevalence of coal use and its status as the most carbon-intense fuel, research efforts on effective carbon capture and sequestration are important.
It will still be years before we see if any of these demonstration projects are successful in capturing and storing their carbon emissions, and until then it is critical that no additional coal plants are permitted or constructed without CCS capacity.
While we wait and see how these technologies develop, we should be focusing on the clean energy solutions that are available today, including energy efficiency and renewables like wind and solar.
For more information see Coal: Frequently asked questions.