Obama’s energy chief rebuts ‘war on coal’ claim

More broadly, he’s making the case that the Obama administration believes coal will remain a major energy source, but wants to ensure it’s burned with far fewer emissions.

“The president made clear that we anticipate that coal and other fossil fuels are going to play a significant role for quite some time on the way to a very low carbon economy,” Moniz told The Associated Press.

He said the viability of large-scale carbon storage will be demonstrated in this decade.

Moniz also talked up the loan guarantees in an interview with The New York Times.

And, in a separate interview with the news service Platts, Moniz noted that competition from the U.S. natural-gas boom — not Obama administration policies — has led some coal plants to shut down.

“Clearly there have been a whole bunch of coal plants that have closed, and that's been market forces,” he said. “It goes back to the natural gas availability and relatively low prices.”

Moniz also told Platts that “going forward, there are still opportunities for higher efficiency with coal, and we all expect, the president expects, that coal is going to remain a substantial contributor for some time.”