Reports

Coal’s Assault on Human Health

This report from Physicians for Social Responsibility outlines the human health impacts of coal, with a focus on the United States. Each step of the coal lifestyle - mining, transportation, washing, combustion and disposing of post combustion waste - impacts human health. Coal pollutants affect all major body organ systems and contribute to four of the five leading causes of mortality in the United States.

Waste Deep: filling mines with coal ash is profit for industry but poison for people

This report from EarthJustice argues for federal regulations on coal combustion waste disposal, in particular safeguards that ensure companies reveal the toxicity of the waste they are dumping, identify sources of ground and surface water that are susceptible to contamination from the dumping and prohibit the dumping of waste directly into ground water. Federal regulations must also require long-term, comprehensive monitoring for pollution from the dumping and ensure that mine owners are financially responsible for the clean up.

The True Cost of Coal: how people and the planet are paying the price for the world’s dirtiest fuel

This report from Greenpeace outlines the external social and environmental costs of coal. The fact is that coal is the most polluting energy source around, and the dominant source of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Coal may be the cheapest fossil fuel on the market, but its market price is only half the story. The financial price includes a range of factors, from mining and retailing costs to government taxes and, of course, profit, but it ignores some of the biggest taxes, and costs of coal: the tremendous human and environmental damage it causes.

The Cost of Climate Change: What We’ll Pay if Global Warming Continues Unchecked

Global warming comes with a massive price tag for every country around the world, but the cost of failing to act will be much greater. The longer we wait, the more painful—and expensive—the consequences of climate change will be. This report by the Natural Resources Defense Council predicts that the estimated costs of both failing to act, and acting on climate change in the United States (US). The research shows that if present trends continue, the total cost of global warming in the US will be as high as 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Four global warming impacts alone—hurricane damage, real estate losses, energy costs, and water costs—will come with a price tag of 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, or almost $1.9 trillion annually (at today's costs) by 2100.