There’s no such thing as clean coal

   < < Go Back
from Popular Science,

It’s not an industry we should save.

Between the wildfires, the hurricanes, and the droughts, one thing that this summer has made clear is not just that the climate is going to change, but that climate change is already here.

… even if you ignored the impact of coal power plants on carbon emissions, burning coal for power still wouldn’t be great for the environment. And it still wouldn’t be great for humans. That’s because in addition to carbon dioxide, coal powered plants emit a host of noxious pollutants. But while the 2015 Clean Power Plan act focused on mitigating the effects of climate change, it brought the huge side benefit of shifting away from the dirtiest forms of electricity—like coal fired plants.

…when the EPA introduced its Clean Power Plan, there are some who saw it as an attack on the coal industry. And that’s not hard to understand: Even though coal only made up 34 percent of electrical energy mix (a mix that increasingly includes wind and solar) as of 2015, it was responsible for 70 percent of power plant emissions. The fastest way for a state to lower its emissions is to convert its coal powered plants to natural gas—something many municipalities are already doing because fracking natural gas is cheaper than coal.

More From Popular Science: