Coal:

NMA's Gerard talks about the benefits, challenges of surging coal demand

Over 100 new coal plants are now on the drawing board, marking a pronounced shift back to coal after years of electrical power plant construction focused on natural gas as the fuel of choice. Coal is relatively inexpensive and abundant, but without deployment of new technologies it is a relatively outsized source of C02, mercury and other emissions. Will Congress fund the research that will help get "clean coal" to the market? Will energy companies build these new plants with IGCC and other technologies that are expensive but can radically reduce emissions? National Mining Association President Jack Gerard joins OnPoint to discuss these issues just as the Senate Energy Committee is set to tackle these thorny questions at a conference March 10.