Letters to the Editor | Northwest Herald

Letter: Helping climate change?

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I believe U.S. citizens have the cleanest air on Earth, in fact, Cheyenne, Wyoming, shares the No. 1 ranking of cities with the cleanest year-round air quality with Farmington, New Mexico.

What are the benefits of clean air? Potential benefits: improvements in visibility, protection of materials or vegetation, prevention of chronic lung disease, reduced greenhouse gas and reduced ecosystem effects. Yes, reducing emissions from burning fossil fuels such as coal and other sources would improve human health and prevent economic losses.

Will elimination of all U.S. coal plants save the planet? No, the internet shows the number of operational coal power plants worldwide as of January 2022, by country, with China having 1,110, India 285 and the U.S. 240. But, globally, the number of coal power stations actually is growing as new construction more than offsets the closure of old plants. Construction of new coal-fired stations is occurring overwhelmingly in Asia, with China accounting for 52% of the 176 gigawatts of coal capacity under construction in 20 countries last year.

The U.S. will not save the plant by closing coal power plants faster than China and India are building new coal power plants. Thus, if the U.S. has the cleanest air with less greenhouse gas pollution, why is President Biden spending more money on climate change at a time of 9.1% inflation and in a recession after two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth?

Robert Meale

Crystal Lake