Coal is Dirty and Dangerous
Efficiency and renewables are better options for repowering America with clean energy
A home in eastern Tennessee is partially buried in contaminated waste from a coal-fired power plant. View a slideshow of the damage caused by the billion-gallon spill on Dec. 22, 2008. Courtesy: United Mountain Defense
Coal is America's dirtiest energy source -- and the country's leading source of global warming pollution.
Coal mining destroys land, pollutes thousands of miles of streams and brings massive environmental damage to mountain communities.
Pollution from coal plants produces dirty air, acid rain and contaminated land and water. Health problems associated with coal pollution include childhood asthma, birth defects and respiratory diseases that take nearly 25,000 lives each year.
"Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet." – James Hansen, NASA's top climate scientist
There are far cleaner and cheaper ways to meet America’s energy needs. Yet industry apologists are spending millions of dollars to block clean energy solutions and persuade Americans that they can keep using coal without the consequences.
The better solution is to repower America by investing in clean energy. Green technologies and renewable fuels will create millions of good-paying jobs, lift our poorest communities out of poverty, reduce dangerous pollution and help fight global warming.
last revised 1/15/2009
Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.
- Efficient Appliances Save Energy -- and Money
- A consumer's guide to buying energy efficient appliances and electronics.