Quitting Coal. Renewable Energy Solutions. In an average year, a typical coal plant generates: . 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global warming--as much carbon dioxide as cutting down 161 million trees.
Renewable Energy Solutions
Coal accounts for 25% of global energy consumption, but generates 39% of the CO2 emissions.
Coal consumption has grown 30% since 2002, twice as fast as any other energy source. Two-thirds of this is “steam coal,” used to produce electricity.
By 2050, the coal industry projects that U.S. demands will double from the current 1.13 billion short tons (2005).
Underground miningIn the 1990s over 15,000 former U.S. miners died from coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung disease)Accidents and fatalities: 3,800 - 6,000 deaths annually in China
32 miners died in the US in 2008 alone.
Strip mining/mountain top removalLess expensive than underground mining; one plant can produce 200 tons of coal/day.
The impacts include:Stream-bed silting, Water contamination with carcinogens and heavymetals associated with cancer clusters, Coal waste disposal and slurry impoundments.Degraded valley
Coal-burning releases particulates, nitrates, sulfates and, in the U.S. alone, approximately 48 tons of the neurotoxin mercury each year.
Fine particle pollution from U.S. power plants, principally coal plants, cuts short the lives of nearly 24,000 people each year, including 2,800 from lung cancer.
It is responsible for 38,200 non-fatal heart attacks and tens of thousands of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and lost work days.
Pollution from coal-fired plants in the U.S. Northeast is linked to over 43,000 asthma attacks, 300,000 episodes of upper respiratory illness, and 100 premature deaths annually.
The risk of death for people living within 30 miles of coal-fired plants is three-to-four times that of people living at a distance.
Coal is the Utah State Rock
Over 95% of the electricity generated in Utah comes from coal.
In 2005 Minerals Management Service (MMS) reports that the coal produced in that year had a total sales value of over $432.7 million and generated royalty revenues in excess of $27.8 million.
In 2006, 82595 people were employed by coal mining companies. 47475 of which worked under ground.
Coal burning is a major influence in Utah’s poor air quality.
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