There’s No Such Thing As Clean Coal

BY ON December 3, 2018

windshield wiper clearing away pollution from so called clean coal

Here’s a dirty little secret: “U.S. taxpayers have spent billions of dollars subsidizing chemically treated refined coal.”

“The tax-credit program is bridging the divide to make coal clean and beautiful,” said North Dakota Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer, borrowing President Trump’s two favorite adjectives to describe coal.

Yet, a recent expose by Reuters analyzed EPA data showing that “clean coal” technology driven power plants pump out more smog, not less like the Trump administration would like you to believe.

According to EPA data:

“In nearly three years of burning the treated coal, the Duke power plants collected several million dollars in federal subsidies. But the plants also pumped out more NOx, not less.”

Coal emits large quantities of dangerous air pollution, posing grave risks to human health. Here’s why:

  • Coal combustion emits large quantities of carbon dioxide. It is one of the most important drivers of global climate change. Relative to other energy sources, coal is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
  • Coal combustion emits pollutants that contribute to ground level ozone, which triggers asthma attacks and interferes with normal lung development.
  • The mercury that contaminates our fresh- and saltwater fish populations comes largely from coal-fired power plants. Mercury can harm brain development and is particularly risky for pregnant women and children.
  • Burning coal for energy emits fine particle pollution, or soot, which has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and increases in death rates, hospital admissions, and infant mortality.

The Trump EPA has proposed to significantly weakening methane pollution protections, putting our children’s future at risk of climate catastrophe. It’s time to make our air cleaner, not dirtier. That’s why we need to shift to renewable energy sources that help us protect the health and future of our children.



TOPICS: Air Pollution, Children's Health, Coal, Mercury Poisoning, Ozone, Pregnancy, Renewable Energy, Soot