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Coal As An Environmental Product (Part II)

By Mary Hutzler -- July 10, 2013

“Since 1970, the total emissions of the six criteria pollutants have declined by 68 percent, even though energy consumption has increased by 45 percent, vehicle miles traveled have increased by 167 percent, and the economy has grown by 212 percent…. As technology continues to advance, coal-fired power plants will become even cleaner and air quality will continue to improve. “

Coal, which until recently produced 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, has been losing market share to lower-cost natural gas and mandated, highly subsidized renewable energy. Anti-coal environmental regulation has also figured into the decline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has essentially banned new coal plants and made its continued use in existing plants extremely costly. As a result, coal produced only 37 percent of our electricity in 2012.

One of the biggest stated concerns about coal is air pollution.…