Obama gets clean coal by aiding oil industry

The technology President Obama is touting for coal plants to cut back on emissions is helping an unlikely source: the oil industry.

The carbon-capture technology is still locking in carbon dioxide to cut back on emissions but it is now being sold to oil companies, which pump it into oil fields as a means to force more crude to the service, according to The Associated Press.

The oil industry is using government energy money to subsidize oil production. The deal highlights "the environmental trade-off Obama is willing to make, but rarely talks about in his fight against global warming," AP writes.

So far, four power plants in the United States and Canada plan to meet the administration's emissions limits by selling their carbon waste for oil recovery.

"By using captured man-made carbon dioxide, we can increase domestic oil production, promote economic development, create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and drive innovation," Judi Greenwald told Congress in July, months before she was hired as deputy director of the Energy Department's climate, environment and energy efficiency office.

But environmentalists say the trade-off is backward thinking.

"Enhanced oil recovery just undermines the entire logic of it," said Kyle Ash of Greenpeace.