Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Pros & Cons Of Coal Energy

Pros & Cons of Coal Energy

Coal is a fossil fuel that results from the decay of primeval forests over time. It is one of the most plentiful fuels in the world and less expensive than other energy sources, such as oil. Opponents of coal's use as an energy source, however, point to the environmental hazards associated with its use.

Pro: Plentiful

Coal is one of the world's most plentiful energy sources. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, Texas, the United States has 25 percent of the world's known coal reserves.

Pro: Inexpensive

Compared with other energy sources, such as oil and natural gas, coal is inexpensive, which free market policy analysts and coal industry lobbyists say will mean lower energy bills for consumers and businesses.

Pro: Versatile

Coal is not only burned directly, but it can also be transformed into liquid or gas form. Proponents claim that liquefied or gasified coal burns cleaner, meaning less air pollution.

Con: Pollution

Coal-fired power plants are a major source of air pollution, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Environmentalists also claim coal burning contributes to acid rain and releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.

Con: Health Concerns

Air pollution from coal-burning poses a health hazard, especially for individuals with respiratory diseases, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Con: Nonrenewable

Like other fossil fuels, coal is a nonrenewable energy source. Environmentalists, conservationists, and other opponents of coal use advocate cleaner, renewable energy sources, such as wind power.

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