April 19th, 2010
Sitting in a heap atop the list of climate offenders is coal. Coal-burning power plants are the single biggest source of carbon emissions worldwide and their smokestacks spew sulfur and nitrogen dioxide, as well, contributing to the stew of greenhouse gases that are heating the Earth’s atmosphere.
Despite the growth of renewable energy sources, coal remains the single largest provider of energy for America, at 45 percent. And its toxic footprint doesn’t end with air pollution. The industry’s waste, leftover ash, is laced with metal oxides.