Walker Cat Billboards in WV Tout Coal as Clean and Carbon Neutral
Walker Cat Billboards in WV Tout Coal as Clean and Carbon Neutral

Walker Machinery is a family-owned major supplier of heavy equipment such as Caterpillar to the coal industry in West Virginia and Ohio.  Walker’s publicity department is quite active and zealous to portray the beneficial wonders of coal.  http://www.walker-cat.com/index.php/www/community/media 

So let’s look at the billboards.  Is Coal Clean?  Is coal Carbon neutral? According to their website, no.  At least not in the present tense, as the billboards would have us believe.  Rather, Walker says, “Science and technology are reengineering coal to be clean and carbon neutral for the 21st Century.” Hasn’t happened…

Clean coal for the future? Wouldn’t it be nice?  After all, the USA has abundant stores of coal. All our scientists and engineers have to figure out is how to extract the coal without making a mess of the land and water and ecosystems, how to work safely, and how to burn the coal without creating pollutants such as acid, mercury, and carbon dioxide.  Just need some handy industry tax subsidies, university helping hands, and some tax supported infrastructure such as the Marshall County coal to liquid plant, this one about $800 million that will produce 60 jobs. 

The trouble is (speaking to Walker Machinery here), the technology for clean coal (on the combustion side) is unproven and spurious. 




A billboard could be put up today that would be truthful if it said the exact opposite of the Walker ad.  Let’s try…”No, Coal. Dirty, carbon spewing.”  Because that is the reality of coal past and present. 

So is Walker lying?  Or just misleading?  Here is a link to scriptures on truthtelling that should underscore the importance of conveying clear messages.  http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/lying.html 

Your thoughts?