Emissions

[cs_content][cs_element_section _id=”1″ ][cs_element_row _id=”2″ ][cs_element_column _id=”3″ ][cs_element_content_area _id=”4″ ][/cs_element_column][/cs_element_row][/cs_element_section][cs_element_section _id=”10″ ][cs_element_row _id=”11″ ][cs_element_column _id=”12″ ][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h1″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-left mythheader”]The Emissions Myth:[/x_custom_headline][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-left mythtruthsubheader”]Coal power harms human health by generating unsafe emissions levels.[/x_custom_headline][cs_text _order=”0″ style=”margin-left: 25px;margin-top: -40px;font-size: 22px;”]

Myth Part 1: Coal power generates large amounts of emissions such as sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides, ozone, mercury, and particulate matter.

The Coal Truth: Modern coal power generates very small quantities of these emissions–at the same healthy levels generated by other industries and sometimes by nature.[1]

Myth Part 2: These emissions have been shown to cause asthma, heart disease, emphysema, and cancer.

The Coal Truth: At today’s low emissions levels there is no demonstrated causation between coal-related emissions and these problems.[2]

Myth Part 3: Therefore coal is bad for our health.

The Coal Truth: It is dishonest to only look for negative health impacts of coal, and ignore the vital positive impacts on health that we get from reliable, affordable energy–from warmth to refrigeration to reliable medical equipment to more affordable healthcare.

[/cs_text][cs_element_line _id=”16″ ][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h1″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-left truthheader”]The Coal Truth:[/x_custom_headline][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-left mythtruthsubheader”]Modern coal power improves human health through providing reliable, affordable power at safe emissions levels.[/x_custom_headline][cs_text style=”margin-left: auto;margin-right: auto;max-width: 900px;margin-top: -45px;font-size: 18px;font-style: italic;”]

To understand coal power’s impact on health we need to look at the whole truth–both its health benefits and health costs.

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Assessing the benefits:  Reliable, affordable energy from coal is crucial to human health.

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  • Cheap, reliable energy is necessary for high-tech facilities such as hospitals, data centers, and laboratories. High-tech processes like running an MRI or processing information require enormous amounts of energy. Hospitals run on tight budgets and can pay in the range of 50% towards energy costs.[3] In 2003 large hospitals “accounted for less than 1 percent of all commercial buildings and 2 percent of commercial floorspace, but consumed 4.3 percent of the total delivered energy used by the commercial sector”; In 2007, large hospitals consumed 5.5 percent of all delivered energy used by the commercial sector.[4] Any decrease in the price of energy results in large budget savings for these facilities, which further results in more investment in data capacity or better services in a lab or hospital.
  • Chemical manufacturing, which produces pharmaceuticals (as well as many other items including synthetic fertilizers, plastics and resins) uses over 180 thousand GWh of electricity, which is 20% of the electricity demand of the entire manufacturing sector in the US.[5]
  • Air conditioning in the US is the single largest use of electric power in the residential sector, using more than 17% of the total electricity used by households on average. This is not simply a convenience but makes modern life healthier in arid regions like Southern California, Texas, and Nevada.[6]
  • Refrigeration is now the single largest use of electricity in the commercial sector, using almost 14% of electricity in this sector. Refrigeration is a major milestone in human health, making sure our food and medication is preserved in a healthy condition.[7]

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Assessing the costs:  Modern coal power has low emissions levels that are perfectly healthy.

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  • Human health does not require eliminating coal emissions but bringing them down to safe levels: just as a certain dose of Tylenol is safe but a high dose can be deadly, the same is true for coal byproducts such as Sulfur Dioxide.
  • Thanks to improved coal technology, since 1980 Sulfur Dioxide levels in the U.S. have been reduced by 87% and since 2000 the levels of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers has decrease 42%.
  • No demonstrable harm to human health has been established for concentrations at today’s levels.[8]

[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-left mythtruthsubheader”]The best policy?[/x_custom_headline][cs_text style=”font-size: 20px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-top: -40px;”]

Communities should choose the energy sources that are the best combination of reliable, affordable, and safe–instead of the government discriminating against coal power.

 

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