Letter: U.S. can't be alone in fight for climate

Posted8/13/2022 1:00 AM

I believe that 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? 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 (Mainland) having 1,110, India at 285 and U.S. having 240.

But, globally, the number of coal power stations is actually 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 percent of the 176 gigawatts of coal capacity under construction in 20 countries last year.

Unilaterally, 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 2 consecutive quarters of negative economy growth?

Robert Meale

Crystal Lake

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