Clean Coal Technologies are specifically aimed to reduce the environmental impacts using coal as fuel, although they are still at an early stage. Differnet types of Clean Coal Technologies include chemically washing the coal prior to burning it to get rid of impurities, treating the smoke from the stove/furnace to remove sulfur dioxide, and “Carbon Capture and Storage” systems that capture C02 and store it underground.
Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. However, it still releases a multitude of harmful emissions when burned. This is due more to chemical composition than anything. Fossil fuels are the distilled form of animals from millions and billions of years ago. Animals are made of carbon, so it follows that fossil fuels also contain a large amount of carbon. When burned, the carbon in fossil fuels reacts with oxygen to create carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. There is no way to prevent this.
Many view natural gas from shale as no better than, and maybe worse than, coal in terms of emissions. See http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-07-12/shale-gas-gives-no-emissions-edge-over-coal
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