Dr. Paul Epstein, the Director of Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment, along with eleven other authorities in the environmental field have estimated the true impact of coal in the US.
The paper “Full Cost Accounting for the Life Cycle of Coal” accounts for the external cost of waste generated by extraction, transport, processing, and the combustion of coal. The most profound impact is the financial burden placed upon everyday people. We all pay the cost of coal by way of public health problems caused by NOx, SO2, and PM2.5 emissions, fatalities caused by rail coal transport, climate change. As well as the public health burden associated with, coal mining, loss of property value in mine lands and government subsidies.
In short, Big Coal is killing us and making us pay for it. This study will surly intensify the discussion about the transition to affordable renewable energy and decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.