I disagree with the letter writers of Jan. 20 and Feb. 1 who say that coal is dying and that the free market killed it. The International Energy Agency predicts coal usage will increase world-wide at least through 2035 and that coal will surpass oil as the world’s leading energy source within the next five years. Coal consumption is rising everywhere except in the U.S. Even in Europe, green energy has become so expensive that coal usage is increasing there as well. If the free market is phasing out coal, why do we need laws restricting its usage?
In addition, more than a billion people have yet to gain access to electricity and its contribution to higher living standards. Indoor pollution from wood fires kills four million people a year. Some of us believe it is more humane to give these people access to inexpensive, coal-fired electricity rather than worry about some fanciful global-warming disaster 50 years hence.
We’re nowhere near “the mopping-up phase” regarding coal usage. I want clean air as much as the next guy, but I also want the power to stay on in my home. Alternatives to coal such as solar and wind are only temporary infusions to the power grid, as the wind isn’t constant nor is the sun. Natural gas is still a fossil fuel. Like it or not, coal will continue to power our grid for some time as there simply is no alternative that is as cheap, plentiful and dependable.
See the article here.
- On February 6, 2016