CUED Publications database

Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal.

Epstein, PR and Buonocore, JJ and Eckerle, K and Hendryx, M and Stout Iii, BM and Heinberg, R and Clapp, RW and May, B and Reinhart, NL and Ahern, MM and Doshi, SK and Glustrom, L (2011) Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1219. pp. 73-98.

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Each stage in the life cycle of coal-extraction, transport, processing, and combustion-generates a waste stream and carries multiple hazards for health and the environment. These costs are external to the coal industry and are thus often considered "externalities." We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually. Many of these so-called externalities are, moreover, cumulative. Accounting for the damages conservatively doubles to triples the price of electricity from coal per kWh generated, making wind, solar, and other forms of nonfossil fuel power generation, along with investments in efficiency and electricity conservation methods, economically competitive. We focus on Appalachia, though coal is mined in other regions of the United States and is burned throughout the world.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Climate Change Coal Conservation of Natural Resources Humans
Divisions: Div E > Manufacturing Systems
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:15
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 20:30