Could "clean coal" meet the energy needs of the United States for the next 1,000 years, as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Sunday (Oct. 9) during the second presidential debate?
Scientists contacted by Live Science are dubious both about whether current U.S. supplies of this fossil fuel could last more than a century and whether the country will start implementing industrywide practices to meet the clean coal definition.
As of now, there aren't any operational U.S. coal plants that use so-called clean coal technology, said Edward Rubin, a professor of engineering, public policy and mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Moreover, if the United States continues to use coal at its current rate of consumption, the known coal deposits will last only about 100 more years, according to a 2007 report from The National Academy of Sciences, a nongovernmental, nonprofit group chartered by the U.S. Congress at the request of President Abraham Lincoln. [Election Day 2016: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How]