Coal doesn’t hurt as bad as sitting in the dark

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry every time I drive my gas-burning car past the billboards from New Energy Economy (NEE) which say “Coal Hurts.” Of course, the billboards are blatantly misleading as the smoke stacks pictured might as well be from China or the 1890s United States given the amount of black smoke billowing from them (the EPA would never stand for that these days).

But, what really makes me think about them these days are the 600 million Indians sitting in the dark due to their inadequate electricity infrastructure. Now, I’m not going to mislead you and blame the Indian situation on the environmentalists, but I will note that the preferred energy sources of enviro groups (wind and solar) like NEE are less reliable than coal and environmentalists consistently attempt to gain a “free ride” for their preferred energy sources when it comes to infrastructure.

So, does coal hurt? Yes, there are no “free lunches” in this world. But for generations, human beings all over the world have chosen coal and other steady, reliable, and cost-effective energy sources over their supposedly “green” counterparts. I guess a small and rapidly-declining amount of pollution beats sitting in the dark.

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5 Replies to “Coal doesn’t hurt as bad as sitting in the dark”

  1. Small? Rapidly declining amounts of pollution?

    “The epa would never stand for?”

    “Less reliable than coal?”

    Excuse me, but electricity generation is now one of the simplest forms of energy creation, with inclusion of the most diversified portfolios of energy operations existent. Electricity has now been being generated on grandiose commercial, industrial scales with clean, renewable technologies, across the globe for many years. There is no defendable reason or argument to be burning coal into our air and water in today’s day, age, and environment. Please do some research before you begin to spew close-minded inaccurate propaganda out of thin air.
    Sincerely.
    Isaac Garcia.

  2. Hey, Isaac, sorry but you are the one that needs to do your research. It has been proven many times in the last 4 years that solar and wind cannot compete with coal.

  3. Look at last week’s Albuquerque Journal opinion page for a guest editorial by Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute called, “Dirty but Essential – That’s Coal”. http://www.robertbryce.com/articles/462-dirty-but-essential-thats-coal.html

    There are many great points in this piece and I encourage you to read it in its entirety, but this excerpt is very telling:

    “Let’s return to the North Antelope Rochelle Mine. Once you account for the energy lost during the conversion of coal to electricity, the mine yields the equivalent of about 300,000 barrels of oil a day. Solar and wind energy, meanwhile, provided the U.S. with the equivalent of 203,000 barrels of oil a day in 2011. So a single coal mine produces about 50 percent more energy on an average day than all of the country’s solar panels and wind turbines combined. Moreover, the mine covers just 80 square miles, while domestic wind projects alone cover about 9,400 square miles.”

    1. I don’t know. Certainly, there is less of a chance of a nuclear meltdown with coal, but done properly (locating facilities out of tsunami zones for example) and with a secure, well-situated storage facility (like Yucca Mountain or even WIPP), I think nuclear is a viable option.

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