A Multibillion-Dollar Clean Coal Plant Never Worked, and Now It’s Been Imploded | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

A Multibillion-Dollar Clean Coal Plant Never Worked, and Now It’s Been Imploded

Residents in Kemper County, Mississippi, were startled early Saturday morning by a “loud explosion” coming from the local coal plant. It wasn’t an industrial accident, though. Instead, it was the planned demolition of parts of the Kemper Plant.

Dramatic footage posted to Twitter shows the plant’s implosion. (You should really watch it.) Local outlet KTOK reported that the explosions were meant to remove towers used in turning coal to gas as part of the plant’s original design—a design that failed spectacularly. The demolition is the last chapter in a decade-long, multi-billion-dollar disaster of a story about attempts to make clean coal happen.

During the first years of its construction, the Kemper plant represented the pinnacle of technological progress and the possibility of a continued future for the coal industry. The project began construction in 2010 at a cost of $7.5 billion. The Kemper facility was supposed to be the largest “clean coal” plant in the world, a proof-of-concept for the industry that it’s possible to turn cheap lignite coal into fuel while sending relatively scant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The promise was to turn one of the dirtiest fuel sources on Earth into something that was, if not zero-emissions, at least Less Bad.

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