Coal is no longer the best option. #StopAdani 

Other forms of energy production cheaper, cleaner than coal
Coal is no longer the best option for energy creation. 

It isn’t just that coal mining has polluted our streams, sickened our communities and left a scar on the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, it’s that coal just simply is not economically viable anymore.

In his op-ed, not only did Matthew Kandrach ignore the human costs of coal mining, he got it wrong about why the coal industry is declining. 

When it comes to our environment and citizens, coal has had devastating effects. 

While promoting coal as a part of our energy mix, Kandrach didn’t account for the lives lost in coal mining, the lives ruined by black lung disease, the communities dealing with the polluted water and air from abandoned mines.

For example, acid mine runoff from abandoned coal mines can often kill all aquatic life in nearby watersheds and pollute drinking water wells for many decades. 

The clean coal technology the author cities as a means to capture greenhouse gases does not have a good track record, and it is a long way away from being a commercial success.

Four out of five plants in the U.S. and Canada testing carbon capture utilization and storage of carbon dioxide have been beset by technical problems and cost overruns and aren’t successfully producing power. 

This is in spite of $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies spent by the Department of Energy since 2009 to bring online advanced, commercial-scale clean coal projects.

 It seems that turning dirty coal into a clean fuel is a very complex problem.
All the author seems concerned about is new technologies that can help contain the greenhouse gases produced while burning coal. 

But the coal mining companies are not interested in finding new technologies to address the problems caused by extracting coal from the ground because it isn’t worth the money. 
Kandrach seems to ignore what the experts are saying: Coal plants are closing, other forms of energy are cheaper to access, coal production peaked in the late 1970s. 

The reality is, coal as an energy source is dying not because of over-regulation, but because of shifting market demand, and no amount of new technology is going to change that. 
If all the costs of coal mining are included in the equation, coal-fired power generation is not the “nation’s most affordable source of power.” 

Rules and regulations to protect the health of workers and environment are not to blame for the move away from burning coal. 

Other forms of energy production are addressing the issues regarding public health and are cheaper as well.

Yes, America needs a diversified mix of energy sources in the future, but energy production from coal has a high, hidden cost that should affect how much coal is in that energy mix.
Dana Wright is the water policy director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

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One comment

  1. Looking at Nuclear, which proponents claim is not getting a fair hearing, and also at Coal a bit, – but an important bit, – the price hierarchy.
    The problem is that it is presented as an either or, one or the other, black or white, – people who are pro Nuclear think it is the be-all, and end-all, their mission is to save the human race with Nuclear, and be damned to any other possibilities.
    Problem is that Nuclear is so expensive, despite gargantuan amounts of money spent on researching and developing it, (at the severe expense of every other renewable etc option) – much publicity to say it should not be, and in the early days local retailers had to pay a fixed rate for Nuclear, – but now those enforced rates have run out, with a ratio of (in the US market place,) app. 40 for Nuclear, 30 for Coal, and 20 for Wind, (with Solar getting down to wind but not there yet). Gas is somewhere in between, usually closer to Coal, but affordable as a stop-gap for wind etc.
    Solar is down to 50cents/watt, Wind turbines are now up to 8 + ! megawatts, Rotor diameters of 180 metres, and the bigger they are, the more efficient, and higher also so in higher wind speeds, they will only get cheaper and now with the recent developments in offshore wind farms, more predictable and with yet higher wind speeds.
    Nuclear is not only last weeks fish, in terms of Fukashima, etc, it is also old technology, with very little infrastructure to get it happening big time, and latest models not time tested.
    So, what could Nuclear offer? – to me the biggest need at the moment is storage to bridge the gap between when the wind stops blowing and the sun comes up, putting it briefly, and although other renewable technologies are developing, there may still be gaps.
    So I contacted some of these Nuclear proponents, and asked could nuclear be ramped up and down quickly, – as Geothermal can, – very similiar technology, (but no waste) – and as Nuclear Submarines and Aircraft carriers can, but no, “that is Weapons grade Uranium” (and what has the west been buying from Russia for the last 10 years?) ” and anyway, Nuclear can do it all”, “wind and solar should be banned”..
    We are not talking to reasonable people here, let a Nuclear fanatic in the door and all debate has to go out the window, replaced by autocratic rant.
    It is not the Elephant in the room, but the would be Bully in the classroom, that is justifiably ignored, – Thing is, retailers of electricity chose coal over Nuclear, because it is cheaper, and now are choosing wind over coal, because it is cheaper, – hello, just simple capitalism, who would think even for a minute they would do anything else?
    So now in America, you have Nuclear Power stations closing down at least once a month, coal fired power stations nearly once a week, – billions to built them very little can be done with what is left when they close down, at least with wind farms, when Turbines are replaced with bigger cheaper more efficient turbines, the older turbines can be sold off quite cheaply, thus allowing small businesses like mine to supply very economic wind power possibilities.
    Cheers, Geoff Thomas. Advanced Wind Technologies, Malanda.

    Liked by 1 person

Appreciate your comments John

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