Energy: Coal

The Social Responsibility of Coal
by Paul Driessen Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Relying more on coal generates benefits that are too often ignored

They get little credit for their efforts, but most resource extraction, manufacturing and power generation companies strive to be “socially responsible” – by emphasizing energy efficiency, resource conservation, pollution control and worker safety in producing the raw materials, consumer products and electricity that improve, safeguard and enrich our lives.

It’s not easy, due to the nature of their business, public intolerance for any ecological impacts – and the fact that “corporate social responsibility” is often defined and used by activist groups to promote ideological agendas. Above all, activists want to engineer a “wholesale transformation” of our energy and economic system, away from hydrocarbon fuels and into “eco-friendly” renewable resources; reduce our living standards to “sustainable” levels (their definition again); and give them power over the power that sustains our modern society.

This “hard green” version of CSR largely ignores socio-economic considerations, the many benefits of fossil fuel and nuclear power, the significant land and environmental impacts of wind, solar and ethanol – and the oppressive effects of soaring energy prices on jobs and poor families…….

Saving lives with coal
By Paul Driessen Wednesday, January 7, 2009

There is no such thing as “clean coal,” environmentalists insist. Burning coal to generate electricity emits soot particles that cause respiratory problems, lung cancer and heart disease, killing 24,000 Americans annually, they argue.

It’s the kind of claim that eco-activist Bruce Hamilton says “builds the Sierra Club,” by generating cash and lobbying clout for his and similar groups.

It’s also disingenuous, unethical and harmful.

Since 1970, unhealthy power plant pollutants have been reduced by almost 95% per unit of energy produced. Particulate emissions (soot) decreased 90% below 1970 levels, even as coal use tripled, and new technologies and regulations will nearly eliminate most coal-related pollution by 2020, notes air quality expert Joel Schwartz......

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