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Posted Mon Jul 20 2009: from London Financial Times:
How to end America's deadly coal addiction
Converting rapidly from coal-generated energy to gas is President Barack Obama's most obvious first step towards saving our planet and jump-starting our economy. A revolution in natural gas production over the past two years has left America awash with natural gas and has made it possible to eliminate most of our dependence on deadly, destructive coal practically overnight -- and without the expense of building new power plants... By changing the dispatch rule nationally to require that whenever coal and gas plants are competing head-to-head, gas generation must be utilised first, we could quickly reduce coal generation and achieve massive emissions reductions. In an instant, this simple change could eliminate three-quarters of America's coal-burning generators and save a fortune in energy costs. Around 920 US coal plants -- 78 per cent of the total -- are small (generating less than half a gigawatt), antiquated and horrendously inefficient. Their average age is 45 years, with many over 75. They tend to be located amidst dense populations and in poor neighbourhoods to lethal effect.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, coal issues, efficiency increase]
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