Carbon emissions are killing our planetPublished 2:35pm Thursday, August 15, 2013
After reading the most recent of many letters to your newspaper written by energy executives in praise of coal, I feel compelled to add some missing facts.
The letter protests the possible closing of the Big Sandy Power Plant in Kentucky due to new EPA regulations. Its author states that President Obama is “bringing the coal industry to its knees”, and suggests that the best course is to leave things exactly as they are for the next 10 years.
The missing facts here are almost too numerous to mention, but one very important one is that the Big Sandy plant regularly makes the list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States, earning a High Hazard rating.
Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of carbon emissions.
The recent hurricane in New York and heat wave in Alaska captured the attention of even the most anti-science among us. It’s impossible to ignore the growing consensus that we’re running out of time.
One could say that climate science is bringing coal to its knees, or that abundant and relatively inexpensive natural gas is bringing coal to its knees.
It’s also important to note that leaving things exactly as they are for 10 years would mean no regulation of any kind on carbon emissions for 10 more years, because that’s the situation today; there are no restrictions limiting carbon emissions from coal plants.
Ten more years of unlimited carbon dumping isn’t just irresponsible, it’s unthinkable. I would appreciate seeing the occasional article on this subject, written by someone who isn’t in the coal business.