A fact filled article from the DC Examiner.
* Particulate emissions (i.e. “soot”) from coal-burning power plants have been reduced to 90 percent below 1970 levels despite a tripling of coal use.
* Most of what’s left in that soot is ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate, neither of which is regarded as dangerous to public health, even at much higher levels of concentration.
* Coal is used to generate half of all electricity used in this country, and in 22 states it accounts for 60-98% of the electricity used. Ever calculated the economic cost – lost jobs, production, productivity - of banning coal in states like Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia or Wyoming that absolutely depend upon the black rock?
* Ever think about the human cost to Americans of banning coal? Here’s a partial list of medical products made possible by the electricity generated from coal-burning power plants: X-rays, CT scans, colonoscopies, cardiac surgeries, refrigerated vaccinations against deadly diseases and kidney dialysis.
* The human cost of not having electricity in Third World countries is staggering, as Driessen notes in a recent Townhall.com column: “Four million infants, children and parents die every year from lung infections – caused by smoke, soot and other pollutants from open fires that heat their homes and cook their meager food, because they don’t have electricity. Two million more perish from intestinal diseases, caused by unsafe water and spoiled food, because they lack refrigeration, sanitation and water treatment.”
My point here is this: Global warming extremists continually make absolute claims in their propaganda like the Reality Coalition’s clean coal spot, but the truth is often found in the facts they ignore or try to suppress.
And the point that so many of us see
So strictly speaking, the “clean coal” technologies aren’t here yet. But then neither are the alternative energy supplies the environmentalists regularly cite as ready replacements for coal and other carbon-based fuels. And there are serious trade-offs with the alternatives that environmentalists don’t like to talk about.
Take wind. As Driessen notes, Texas presently generates 36 percent of its electricity using coal, and only two percent from wind. Even in T. Boone Pickens’ most optimistic scenario, it will be years before there will be enough wind turbines twirling on the West Texas plains to supply a third of Texans’ power needs.
And even when there are miles and miles of nothing but working turbines out there, they won’t be generating much power during those relentlessly hot Texas summers when the breeze hardly ever stirs and thermometers push beyond 100 degrees.
Bottom line: It will be decades before alternative energy will replace carbon-based fuels. And that is no fable.
Coal is the key to sustaining our energy needs.