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Letters to the Editor

By Tom Harris
Ottawa
Ontario Canada

I am very sad to hear that coal miner, Elam Jones, died in a mining accident in Utah. However, Jones did not die in vain. He was helping provide America's most reliable and least expensive energy source, energy that has saved countless lives wherever the coal that Jones mined was sent. Even though coal miners do occasionally die on the job in your country (though far less frequently than in developing nations), President Barack Obama's focus on ending America's use of coal to generate electricity is misguided. Science does not support his belief that carbon dioxide emissions from coal combustion are a major contributor to dangerous climate change. Indeed, scientists do not really even know whether warming or cooling lies ahead, let alone the impact of human activities. Although new technologies are making coal combustion increasingly clean and its mining increasingly safe, it will never be perfect. People will die and some pollution will always be released, no matter how careful we are. However, as the source of half of all U.S. electrical demand (and forecast to rise to over half of world demand by 2030), coal must remain an integral part of the country's electricity for the foreseeable future.




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