12, May 2016: The use of coal power plants in the United States is something of an issue that many people view as one-sided. It is commonly known that coal plants are a major source of carbon dioxide emissions, which is said to be clearly related to global warming. Over the course of one year, the average coal power plant emits 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. While this is the case, it is also true that coal power plants are among the foremost providers of energy in the United States, making the issue of coal power plants a very delicate one.
According to Ian Leaf , an environmental engineer, there are valid points to both sides of the issue. Coal power plants as they currently exist may not necessarily be safe in terms of the air pollution, generation of waste, and use of water, but there are changes that could be made that would make these plants safer for the environment.
“There are some methods that a coal power plant could implement to make it a cleaner source of energy, but the unfortunate truth is that many plants do not currently have any of these controls in place,” said Ian Andrews , fraud expert. “Coal power plants are one of the largest producers of energy, they can be susceptible to fraud, but they are also one of the largest producers of pollution. It is important that changes are made in order to protect the health and safety of the public at large while also providing access to important energy sources.”
The burning of coal is known to be one of the leading causes of toxic air pollution, acid rain and smog, along with the emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and mercury, all of which are strongly related to significant health concerns. As Ian Andrews alluded to, pollution controls exist that are readily available for use in coal power plants, yet many of these plants have not yet been outfitted with the available technologies.
“It is hoped that the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics rule can finally be the catalyst to require power plants to produce electricity more cleanly, though this regulation is not yet in place” said Ian Andrews. “It’s also important to keep in mind that change can take time and many of the changes to limit pollutants at power plants can cost billions and can require years to install”.