NEW ORLEANS — Entergy chairman and CEO J. Wayne Leonard has issued a statement in support of President Barack Obama’s energy policy.
Leonard, who has been a leading industry advocate for action on comprehensive climate change legislation, issued the following statement:
“We support the President’s decision to establish an Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage. It sends a clear message that the economic reality is such that the climate change problem cannot be solved without developing a retrofit technology for existing coal plants. We believe the President’s announcement today should demonstrate the country’s commitment to substantive action over popular sound bites.
“The President is correct that the battle on catastrophic climate change will be won or lost in the nearer term on how we manage the existing worldwide fleet of coal plants. We must find an economic way to capture and sequester the carbon dioxide that’s emitted in the coal-combustion process if we expect American citizens or citizens of the developing world to support climate change initiatives. The annual carbon emissions from the electricity sector in China are already larger than those of the U.S. In less than six years, China’s emissions will likely double ours due to their plentiful coal reserves and a rapidly growing population.
“While all nations must ultimately contribute to stabilizing the carbon concentration in the atmosphere, the industrialized nations must demonstrate leadership and commitment by taking the first sustainable steps to solve the problem we were the first to create. We have the means, the know-how and the responsibility to give back what we have taken. The same American ingenuity that made us the most powerful country in the world can be directed to solve the biggest threat we have ever faced. Fossil fuels will continue to be the world’s energy of economic choice. It can contribute to the solution of climate change or it can exacerbate the problem. The President has made a pragmatic and courageous vote of confidence in American know-how.”