Is This the End for Coal?

The overhaul of fuel technologies isn’t limited to just cars. The same story can be seen in electricity generation for the whole country. Increasingly strict standards are set to protect the environment, and the as more are expected to come, the coal industry could take a major hit.

Everyone knows there are some dangers in coal mining. Almost any film featuring a coal mine also features an accident. In the past 3 years, 88 people have died in coal mining accidents. But these accidents are not the only hazards associated with the energy-rich black rocks.

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Between the 1980s and 1990s, the EPA found that burning coal released sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides — two toxins that contribute to acid rain. The resulting Clean Air Act of 1990 hit coal operations with heavy regulations.

With President Obama in office, coal miners expect even greater regulations. To Obama and the EPA, coal-fired power plants are a leading source of emissions, as 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions result from electricity generation, and coal pollutes the most. From 2005 to 2012, coal-generated electricity dropped from 50 percent of the U.S.’s electricity supply, to 38 percent…