A few months back I got a spam call at home asking me if I would like to support clean coal. I just hung up but I really should have asked the person at the other end if she really believed the crap about clean coal. All these clean coal nutcases think that just capturing the output from coal energy plants will make coal greener. They claim that coal is local and cheap and reduces dependency on foreign oil.
As far as the output from coal energy plants goes, that seems to be a major contributor to climate change (euphemism for global warming). Anyway foreign oil or any oil for that matter is not a major contributor to electricity generation in the US. The top sources are coal, nuclear, natural gas and hydroelectric. The big foreign source here is Canada for natural gas.
Clean coal supporters fail to mention that coal is cheap because the conditions in mines suck, as proven often by the regular deaths in coal mines in West Virginia including the deaths on Monday at a mine with a history of violations run by a company with a history of violations. They would rather kill miners, cause them cancer and other health problems and destroy the local environment by mining than import some natural gas from Canada or support more really clean energy like nuclear, wind, solar etc.
Also often cited concerns of nuclear plants are radioactive waste. Well, what about the radioactive waste from coal that is more dangerous and pumped directly into the atmosphere as compared to the safely stored and hopefully reusable waste from nuclear.
Make mines safer, force bad mining companies to cease operations while violations are not fixed and coal may no longer be competitive in any way.