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LETTER: Coal will continue to power country


A Sept. 15 editorial appeared to incorrectly state the contribution of various energy sources to power the U.S. electrical grid. For the year 2018 fossil fuels provided 64% of our electrical generation, with natural gas, 35%, coal, 27% and various petroleum products and other gases, 2%. Nuclear power reported a 19% contribution and hydropower, 7%. These energy sources provide 90% of the energy to power this country.

The remaining 10% of the energy comes from two primary sources, wind and solar. Wind accounted for 6.6% and solar, 1.6%. Since these energy sources are the function of available wind and sunlight they must have a backup provided by the sources stated above. Both wind and solar are subsidized by the American taxpayer.

Given an even footing by the free market, coal would have a bigger role to play in U.S. power generation. Given coal's abundance in the U.S. and cheap cost it will continue to provide reliable and affordable energy for the foreseeable future, not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.

Larry Mayton



Robert Magyar's picture
Robert Magyar on Sep 19, 2019 1:53 pm GMT

Coal, nuclear, oil and gas along with solar and wind all receive taxpayers subsidies.

It is inaccurate to state or impy otherwise. 

Here are the numbers on US taxpayer subsidies to the coal industry since the 1950s from research completed by the group, "Taxpayers For Common Sense: Coal: A Long History of Subsidies

This summary documents the billions of dollars coal companies have received over the last 60 plus years and nothing has come close to this regarding solar and wind or batteries which can now store this power when needed and work in an energy mix with natural gas.


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 19, 2019 2:39 pm GMT

Not to mention the hidden subsidies that  have long been bolstering the oil industry:

Robert Magyar's picture
Robert Magyar on Sep 19, 2019 6:30 pm GMT

Absolutely Matt, for anyone who really understands the energy industry in total, the reality of energy subsidies for all forms of energy generation is well known. The mission from certain quarters in the energy industry that only solar and wind receive subsidies is not only self-serving but confuses the public which of course is what it is designed to do. Best, Bob

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