October 25, 2016 Read More →

… and More on the Myth of Coal as Poverty Balm

Dave Roberts for Vox:

The coal industry finds its fortunes on the decline in the developed world, losing out to natural gas and renewables. All its hopes for survival, much less growth, rest with the developing world.

So it has glommed on to the surge of interest in energy poverty and is now selling itself as a solution.

For instance, here’s Peabody Energy, calling “advanced coal” a solution to energy poverty:Here’s the World Coal Association doing the same. Here’s Arch Coal providing energy-poverty talking points to Jeb Bush when he attacked the pope over climate change. Here’s Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray delivering the same talking points on Fox News. Here’s the Daily Caller pushing them, direct from right-wing think tank the Energy & Environment Legal Institute. Here’s Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. And so on.

Are they right? Is coal the key to providing universal energy access?

A new paper, from 12 international poverty and development organizations (led by the Overseas Development Institute), argues no. In fact, the opposite is true: Not only will more coal plants do nothing for energy access, they will impose unnecessary suffering on the poor.

Full item (with charts and graphs): Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution.

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