Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Coal Facts

From pro-coal industry website Fast Facts About Coal:

  • Nine out of ten tons of coal in the U.S. are used to generate electricity.
  • More than 2.3 million acres of mined land have been reclaimed over the past 25 years—that’s an area larger than the state of Delaware.
  • The United States has about a 235-year supply of coal, if it continues using coal at the same rate at which it uses coal today.
  • Montana is the state with the most coal reserves (119 billion tons). But Wyoming is the top coal-producing state—it produced over 400 million tons in 2010.
  • Texas is the top coal-consuming state. It uses about 100 million tons each year.
  • The average coal miner is 50 years old and has 20 years of experience.
  • Coal ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, is used as filler for tennis racketsgolf balls, and linoleum.
  • U.S. coal deposits contain more energy than that of all the world’s oil reserves.

I found a really good article about the coal industry on the website of the West Virginia Gazette:
Left out of the Daily Mail’s news coverage?
There was no mention of another recent report (also not really peer-reviewed) by the folks at Downstream Strategies and the West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy, which argued that coal actually costs the state government more money than it generates.
And neither of their stories mentioned the growing body of work coming out of West Virginia University (hardly an institution that is out to get the coal industry)  about how residents near coal mining operations generally and mountaintop removal sites specifically show poorer health than those who don’t leave near mining.
Good stuff.  Arguing about bad media coverage.   
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