The coal industry is cleaning up its act when it comes to air pollution, according to a new report from the Clean Air Task Force that outlines connections between coal-fired power plant emissions and premature deaths. In fact, the number of yearly deaths has been cut almost in half since the same report in 2004, and much of the coal burned in those plants comes from Wyoming. Report co-author Conrad Schneider explains that new laws and rules and enforcement of Clean Air Act provisions have worked to protect public health.
Schneider’s report calls for more regulation of the industry while being mindful of keeping cost increases to consumers low, and he points to another benefit beyond health.
The report predicts coal plant air pollution will be connected to about 13-thousand deaths this year because of heart and respiratory system harm. The coal industry has often warned that pollution controls will lead to job losses and higher costs for consumers, but Schneider says their study found neither to be true.