Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We're All Coal States

Via Dave Roberts, Coal Industry whitewashing group America's Power shows just how dependent America is on coal to provide electricity. Indeed, coal is the plurality source of energy in 30 states, and accounts for at least 20% of electricity in all but 12. They're trying to convince you that coal power is the reason that some states have lower electricity prices, but it's worth pointing out that (a) a number of other factors come into play, and (b) the end result of any climate change legislation will be to raise the price of polluting energy sources like coal.

Below is a nice map showing that coal is the dominant source of energy primarily in the Midwest and Interior Plains. Western states use more hydroelectricity and natural gas; the Northeast and South have more nuclear plants.

4 comments:

Dennis said...

Ironically, this map makes a pretty great case for wind and solar -- big chunks of coal generation can be replaced by cheap-to-operate wind and solar that could be built *right there*.

Nicholas Beaudrot said...

Hey, that's a really good point.

I think the Lower Midwest and Appalachia wouldn't be in very good shape, and that's where many of the people are, but at least some portion of the country ought to benefit.

David said...

Dare we say that coal also destroys millions of acres of forest, employs a mere fraction of what they used to and uproots communities leaving nothing but barren wastelands and ghost towns?

David said...

Also, they already aren't in good shape. listen to the people and not the 2 corporations that are leveling that part of the country. Good thing is, that with all that barren "reclaimed" land that the coal companies have provided will do wonders for solar and wind technology. It could put all those people back to work that were fired when our wonderful coal companies decided that it would be better to have 5 people blow up a mountain rather than 500 digging underneath it.

No sympathy. Coal provides less jobs now than it did before because they decided to start "mining" by "crossridge" or mountaintop removal. This industry needs to die off before the Appalachians are gone and never to return again. As of now, NO ONE benefits but a handful in Appalacia.