This week the United Mine Workers of America wrote a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee detailing why they opposed the Lieberman-Warner cap and trade bill. From their letter:

We met with Committee staff during the development of S. 2191, expressing our deep concerns about the Bill’s overly aggressive targets and timetables for near-term reductions, particularly the magnitude of reductions required by 2020. It is not feasible to deploy CCS [carbon capture and sequestration] on a large scale basis by that time. With the economy-wide emission trading system employed by S. 2191, the electric utility and coal industries would bear the brunt of adverse economic and job impacts associated with compliance.

The UMWA then notes that the Energy Information Administration estimates that if CCS does not develop as fast as Lieberman-Warner supporters predict, the US economy will suffer a $354 billion loss of output by 2030. The UMWA letter continues:

A loss of $354 billion of industrial shipments could represent the loss of 1.3 million jobs. Multiplier effects for indirect job losses are typically a factor of 2 to 3 times direct job losses, implying total potential job losses of 2.7 to 3.9 million American workers.

And how is the development for CCS technology going? Well, the New York Times reported today:

For years, scientists have had a straightforward idea for taming global warming. They want to take the carbon dioxide that spews from coal-burning power plants and pump it back into the ground.

But it has become clear in recent months that the nation’s effort to develop the technique is lagging badly.

In January, the government canceled its support for what was supposed to be a showcase project, a plant at a carefully chosen site in Illinois where there was coal, access to the power grid, and soil underfoot that backers said could hold the carbon dioxide for eons.

Perhaps worse, in the last few months, utility projects in Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota and Washington State that would have made it easier to capture carbon dioxide have all been canceled or thrown into regulatory limbo.