[Matt] Frost thinks we should pay the organizations which own underground coal deposits—specifically, the U.S. government—for the right to never mine it.

“The U.S. coal deposits represent a potential store of future CO₂ emissions,” Frost told me. “The assumption, the policy assumption, is that they need to be extracted. But what if we just sequester this carbon while it’s still in coal form?”

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Climate-Concerned Billionaires Should Buy Coal - Robinson Meyer

It’s plain that Bill Gates would never spend $2b buying coal rather than funding a clean-energy research initiative, no matter which were likely to be more effective. It’s interesting and instructive to ponder why that is.