Coal is a good fuel for many reasons for which are the reasons why we choose to use coal to power our homes and businesses more than all other energy sources.
First, Coal is plentiful here in the States. We have so much of this resource that it makes up 44.9% of our electricity. Furthermore, because we have so much of it on our own turf, it makes it the cheapest and allows us to use energy from our own soils and not rely so much on imported energy or spend precious energy dollars importing and transporting across vast distances. Coal is also convenient in other ways. It is easy to transport and use. Simply crush and burn and its rather efficient as a fuel, as in the energy quality is third to nuclear and oil, but is above renewables when considering the BTUs (British Thermal Unit=amt of energy) that you can get from coal.
In the United States we have been striving for perfection, trying to find the least expensive way to get it out of the ground and used. There are various methods implemented and can employ thousands of workers here in the United States. Also the infrastructure is already built to use our plentiful coal in our current energy grid and save our precious oil for our cars. In today’s market, it’s creating more scientific jobs on inventing new ways to burn it cleaner. Like “Clean Coal” by using all the market bonuses, cheap, efficient, plentiful and easy, however taking into consideration the environmental damage it does. By encouraging this type of scientific research we can continue to use our current system, with little market and business change, and solve the big problem of environmental consequences.
Right now, coal is popular because it’s plentiful, cheap, and easy to use. However, coal is also incredibly harmful to the environment and dangerous to extract. The only reason it’s “better” than other forms of energy is because we already have all the infrustructure in place to use it, whereas we still have to perfect wind and solar technologies.
There is no such thing as clean coal. While it’s true that some coal does burn “cleaner” than others (releases less carbon into the atmosphere as it burns), all coal releases carbon and coal ash, which causes global warming, devastation to local drinking water and wildlife, and serious health problems to the people that breathe it, including cancer. Never mind that the coal that does burn cleaner is also more expensive, eliminating the industry’s “coal is cheaper” argument.
“Clean coal” is mostly a savvy PR move that distorts or exaggerates the truth. For example, while the coal industry talks about how we can capture carbon released by coal, but our carbon-capturing technology is far too expensive to actually use and barely works anyway. They also mention how the coal industry employs people, yet the switch to a clean economy would require an overhaul of infrastructure that would create a massive number of jobs.
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