The Competitiveness Myth: Coal power is no longer necessary because natural gas and others outcompete it

The Competitiveness Myth:

Coal power is no longer necessary because natural gas and others outcompete it.

Myth Part 1: Solar and wind are quickly becoming cheaper than coal.


The Coal Truth: Because solar and wind are unreliable and require constant backup they are far more expensive than coal and other “reliables.”[1]

Myth Part 2: Utilities are replacing coal plants with natural gas plants because coal can’t compete.


The Coal Truth: While natural gas is sometimes the cheapest solution, utilities are usually replacing coal plants at great cost because anti-coal policies force them to.

Myth Part 3:Therefore we shouldn’t be worried about the destruction of the American coal industry–it’s going the way of the horse and buggy industry.

The Coal Truth: The American coal industry provides the best power for millions at home and abroad–destroying it means going backwards, not forwards.

The Coal Truth

Coal power is the best solution for millions of Americans and billions around the world, providing the most reliable, affordable power.

Assessing the benefits:  Communities around the world should choose the energy that is most reliable, affordable, and safe.

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

  • Around the world, people are voluntarily adopting coal as the best source of energy to meet their needs. In 2016 coal was over 28% of world energy consumption.[2]  The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that coal consumption will continue to rise until 2050 and that India will more than double its coal consumption over that time period.[3]
  • Coal power is often the most reliable solution; it is easy to stockpile in vast amounts at the site of a power plant and is less vulnerable to supply interruptions from extreme weather or other disasters.
  • Coal power often has the lowest price–with far more long-term stability than natural gas prices–which is why in many regions coal remains the dominant power source.[4] [5] [6]

The best policy?

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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