Coal is America’s most abundant energy resource—making up 90 percent of U.S. fossil energy reserves on a Btu basis. … Coal is essential to the U.S. economy, providing affordable electricity to households, businesses, manufacturing facilities, transportation and communications systems, and services throughout our economy.
What are economic impacts of coal?
All of the impacts of coal have an economic cost, from the jobs lost by fishermen downstream of a coal mine, to the health care costs of the people sickened by coal-fired power plant pollution, to the cost of cleaning up spills of toxic coal waste.
What are the impacts of using coal?
Emissions from burning coal
Nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to smog and respiratory illnesses. Particulates, which contribute to smog, haze, and respiratory illnesses and lung disease. Carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the primary greenhouse gas produced from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas)
How is coal significant to humans future?
The basic attraction of coal remains its low cost and abundance. In the next 10 to 20 years, coal’s value is likely to grow, as advanced coal plants, including some retrofitted with carbon capture, meet the world’s growing need for energy while helping reduce greenhouse emissions.
What are the social impacts of coal?
Some studies also show higher rates of miscarriages and stillbirths. Studies from the US, the UK, Russia and Queensland found social injustices associated with coal mining such as environmental degradation, including water pollution and slurry spills.
What are the disadvantages of coal?
The major disadvantage of coal is its negative impact on the environment. Coal-burning energy plants are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to carbon monoxide and heavy metals like mercury, the use of coal releases sulfur dioxide, a harmful substance linked to acid rain.
Why is coal harmful to the environment?
The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, increasing levels of CO2 and other gasses, trapping heat, and contributing to global climate change. … Coal-fired power plants release more greenhouse gases per unit of energy produced than any other electricity source (1).
How does coal affect the climate?
Climate change is coal’s most serious, long-term, global impact. Chemically, coal is mostly carbon, which, when burned, reacts with oxygen in the air to produce carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas. When released into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide works like a blanket, warming the earth above normal limits.
What are the positive effects of coal mining?
10 reasons why coal is a good energy source:
- Cheapest source of energy. …
- Coal also provides a stable source of energy (no Arab oil embargoes, no sudden scarcity like you experience with natural gas) and there is a very plentiful supply both in the U.S. and in other foreign countries.
Does coal have a future?
The decline that many coal communities expected to stretch years into the future has instead arrived, seemingly, overnight. … Rather than a “glide path” of a decade or more to diversify from the economic base of coal, communities in coal country may see that foundation erode in just a few years.
What is the importance of coal?
Coal is primarily used as fuel to generate electric power in the United States. The coal is burned and the heat given off is used to convert water into steam, which drives a turbine.
Is coal a good energy source for the future?
The energy of the future is coal. … Global coal use will grow 39 percent over the next decade, tops for all electricity-generating fuels. Nuclear, hydro and other renewables combined will only match coal’s share of the global energy mix in the next 10 years.
What are social impacts of mining?
Booming social problems
When mine closures result in sudden unemployment and loss of income, social problems often follow. After a series of mine closures in Elliot Lake, Ontario, domestic disturbances tripled, weapons use and demand for social services increased, and student enrolment dropped.
How do you think mining for resources such as coal has impacted human society?
Chemical, Air & Dust Pollution: Underground mining allows coal companies to dig for coal deeper into the ground. The problem is that huge amounts of earth and rock are brought up from the bowels of the earth. … These dust particles can cause all kinds of health problems for humans who are exposed to it.