What are the positive and negative environmental consequences of coal-generated power?In relation to coal-generated power, focus more on the negative consequences.  

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shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Coal has been under attack by environmentalists for years because of the pollution it causes.

  • It has been reported that people living near coal plants suffer from certain diseases at a higher rate than people who do not live near coal plants.
  • Coal mining has long been considered dangerous to the health of those who do the actual mining work. The term “black lung” has been applied to the lung condition of miners who work in coal mines for extended periods.
  • Coal is also one of the causes of acid rain.

On the positive side, coal is a fuel that the United States has plenty of, so we actually export a lot of the coal we mine.  Unlike nuclear power generation, there is no danger of a “meltdown” that could cause the kinds of problems seen in Chernobyl and Japan.