Environmental Protection

Coal Use on the Rise

According to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the use of coal and the emissions that come along with it were increasing by the end of 2012.

Since April 2012, there has been an increase in the use of coal due to the fact that the price of natural gas has been on a consistent rise. In the climbing demand for coal, EIA predicts that the CO2 emissions will also start to rise for the industry. As stated in the article by Kristin Meek, the administration must prompt greater and immediate reductions with emissions standards for existing and new power plants.

EIA’s data shows that natural gas prices have increased by 50 percent since April 2012, which is what has helped create the rising use of coal across the country. The data also predicts that as natural gas prices continue to rise, coal use will increase by 18 percent by 2040, which will significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions.

New emissions standards would help decrease the chances of such a drastic increase in emissions caused by the coal industry. Such standards could include new coal plants being built with greenhouse gas emissions controls, carbon capture and storage. By having new standards for the coal industry, the increase of coal use and its emissions may not be as severe.

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