Energy Secretary Steven Chu says he will provide $2.4 billion from the economic recovery package to speed up development of technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories that burn coal.
Chu told a meeting of the National Coal Council on Friday that it's essential that ways are found to capture carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and industrial sources. Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the leading greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.
Chu said coal will remain an essential energy source. He said even if coal plants in the United States were shut down, as some environmentalists want, China and India will not turn their back on coal.