Coal power is the source of over 50% of all electricity in the United States. It is an abundant resource and it has been used since the 18th century. Back then not many people knew that it was so devastating to the environment.
The problems begin with the way coal is mined. Often times entire plots of land are strip mined, quickly becoming baron wastelands and mountain tops are destroyed to unlock the coal within. These techniques are very destructive to wildlife, water and soil quality.
The electricity generation phase is also quite dangerous. To power a single 100w light bulb for a year requires 1852lbs of carbon dioxide, 5lbs of sulfur dioxide (main cause of acid rain) and 5lbs of nitrogen dioxide (causes smog and acid rain). It also releases more radioactive elements than a nuclear power plant.
It has been suggested that we turn to alternative, cleaner energy sources to replace our coal plants. Wind, solar, geothermal and even natural gas generated power are less destructive alternatives. It’s about time we look towards the future and start upgrading our energy infrastructure to be more sustainable, less wasteful and stop the dangerous mining and coal burning that has been a large contributor to pollution, destruction of wildlife and natural resources.