There are more than 600 coal-fired plants generating electricity in the United States and another 150 new or proposed power plants currently in the pipeline, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Burning coal releases enormous amounts of harmful pollutants into the air and water, with serious health consequences. Power plant pollution is responsible for 38,200 nonfatal heart attacks and 554,000 asthma attacks each year. The continued use of older coal power plants—many of which have minimal pollution controls or none at all—and the construction of more coal plants will only exacerbate these dangers. To meet future energy needs without jeopardizing our health we must reduce our energy demand through gains in efficiency, and move toward cleaner, renewable sources of energy already available.
Related IssuesHuman HealthToxicsFossil Fuels