Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers comment on what’s killing coal

A pile of coal at the Big Brown power plant near Fairfield, Texas.
A pile of coal at the Big Brown power plant near Fairfield, Texas. AP

What’s killing coal

Protecting Americans from harmful toxins in the air we breathe and from future devastating effects of climate change is not “regulatory overreach” or “manipulation of the electric marketplace.” It is our president doing what we elected him to do. (“Regulatory overreach, not just cheap natural gas, is killing coal,” Bernard L. Weinstein opinion, Thursday)

Weinstein made no mention of climate change or renewable energy. His views for our energy future are aligned with the fossil fuel industry.

Coal will never be a clean energy source, and the U.S. and the rest of the world must transition away from coal to clean renewable energy sources.

Wind energy has added more electrical energy production this past year than has been lost by closed coal power plants. Production of wind and solar energy is increasing rapidly and will eventually replace energy from coal.

The administration’s Clean Power Plan has been approved by 26 states. California and other states are leading the way to our energy future.

Texas already has a large amount of wind energy and large potential for solar energy. Let’s move Texas and the U.S. into the future by supporting renewable energy, the Clean Power Plan and the EPA’s Air Toxins Standards.

Charles R. Foreman, Arlington


Actually, coal is killing coal.

The cost of shipping lignite coal (also known as thermal coal) from Montana to our coal power plants by rail is driving the cost of coal ever upward as the cost of diesel climbs with the cost of oil.

About our coal in Texas, it is nearly gone because we have been shipping it to China.

And the healthcare costs of coal are just now being assessed in the number of early deaths, illnesses that only the CDC can keep track of, environmental mercury triggered autism, etc.

The real threat to coal will come from solar power, especially solar voltaic panels. It is cheaper to produce electricity by solar than natural gas. And solar has much lower healthcare costs and transportation costs than coal.

As our transportation systems begin their transformation to electricity from fossil fuels, coal will die even faster. And our need for the EPA will be even less than today.

David E. Cozad, Arlington


Weinstein’s characterization of the EPA as the primary cause of coal’s declining use is wrong.

I wonder whether Weinstein he is planning a family vacation to the shores of Lake Erie to enjoy what the Indians called the “sweet-water seas.” Probably not, since the toxic emissions from surrounding industries have rendered this resource unusable.

Growing up in Pittsburgh, I remember watching in awe the Allegheny River on fire. Fish caught in that river were natural wonders: two tails, two heads — you get the picture. What a treat to witness that ever-growing diversity of life forms.

Weinstein’s recommendation to “trust technology and competition to achieve the nation’s environmental goals” is just misdirecting the public away from the facts.

Americans have trusted industry and business leaders and were continually betrayed. Thus, the EPA, caused by industry’s continual unethical and immoral behavior.

Paul Martin, Hurst


Weinstein suggests we “trust technology and competition to achieve environmental goals.” Recall how well that worked several years ago with Ellis County’s air-polluting cement processing plants? Reminder: It didn’t, for years, because it was “too expensive.”

Coal usage in energy production emits mercury, acid-gas, sulfur dioxide and CO2 into the air. The effects of CO2 on global warming are clear, although denied by energy-industry insiders for years.

As for the other pollutants being emitted, one need only consider the signs posted at every public boat- launch ramp on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn reservoirs, in the heart of the majestic Piney Woods and “coal country”: “WARNING: It is unsafe to consume fish caught from this reservoir due to extensive mercury content.”

Robert Moore, Fort Worth