K I L L    C O A L

1) According to the American Economic Review, one of the county's most prestigious economic journals, coal's external costs are over TWICE the coal industry's total value to the economy [1].

"The largest industrial contributor to external costs is coal-fired electric generation . . .

"Five industries stand out as large air polluters: coal-fired power plants, crop production, truck transportation, livestock production, and highway-street-bridge construction..

"The ratios of damages to VA [value added] across these five industries range from 6.7 for solid waste combustion to 1.4 for petroleum and coal products. The fact that GED [gross external damages] exceeds VA implies that if the national accounts included the external costs due to air pollution emissions, the augmented measure of VA for these industries would actually be negative.

"Coal-fired electric power generators produce the largest GED of $53 billion annually. Coal plants are responsible for more than one-fourth of GED from the entire US economy. The damages attributed to this industry are larger than the combined GED due to the three next most polluting industries . . .

"[The study] explores GED due to coal-fired, oil-fired, and natural gas power plants. . . . The electricity produced by coal-fired facilities also has the highest GED per kwh . . . Oil-fired plants have the highest GED/VA ratio (5.13) and a GED/kwh of 2 cents. The GED for natural gas plants is much smaller, $900 million, and these plants have a much lower GED/VA ratio.

"Thus, for coal-fired power plants, the current GED/VA ratio of 2.2 stems primarily from inefficiently high levels of emissions, as well as electricity prices that do not reflect social costs."

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