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“The Environmentalist CEO”

This Tuesday, CEO of Duke Energy Jim Rogers made an appearance on The Colbert Report, the left-leaning political satire show that has become a hit on the Comedy Central network. It could have been a landmark show, not only because it featured the coal company founder spouting the dogma of the environmentalist, clean- energy movement, but also because he held his own against the fast- talking, somewhat Socratic host Stephen Colbert (who recently shaved his head on a mock order from President Obama on a troop-supporting trip to the Middle East). Said Rogers, “our challenge is, how do we transition to a low- carbon world but keep our power affordable as we clean it up?”, while assuring a skeptical Colbert that clean coal is not, in fact, an oxymoron. Rogers, who claimed to have high standards for emissions, talked about potentially bright future of commercialized carbon sequestration (the process by which carbon emissions are inserted into closed underground spaces to prevent their entrapment in the Earth’s atmosphere), and emphasized his key point that “we have to invest in energy efficiency”. After Stephen Colbert feigned surprise that Rogers “believes in global warming” despite his professional affiliation with coal, which is his company’s main source of income, Colbert deigned Rogers “the environmentalist CEO”.

Do you think that satire shows like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show should do more to cover environmental issues? If you saw the show, what did you think of Jim Rogers’ appearance or of Stephen Colbert’s responses to his claims? Have something to tell ENN readers about carbon sequestration, clean coal, or other “environmentalist CEOs?” Share it!

by M. Molendyke

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