Michael Silver is right to cite the importance of mining to renewable-energy technologies, as well as the hypocrisy of those who support the latter (renewables) while opposing the former (mining) in “The Environmentalist’s Catch-22” (op-ed, Oct. 9). But he’s wrong to urge the elimination of traditional energy sources like coal, both from an economic and environmental perspective.
Over the last three decades, emissions from U.S. power plants using coal have declined substantially, and mines today operate under the latest and most stringent environmental standards. It is coal that provides reliable and affordable power to the mines that produce minerals contained in LED lights and other high-tech devices, as well as the facilities that manufacture them. And coal is the only energy source that exists in sufficient abundance globally to meet the energy needs of developed and developing nations, providing over 40% of the world’s reliable and affordable electricity.
Coal is vital to our daily lives and to our nation’s energy mix. The author’s utopian vision of a world without coal would leave much of the world in the dark.
Stuart A. Sanderson
Colorado Mining Association
Read the article here.
- On October 28, 2014