Full Cost Accounting for the Life Cycle of Coal
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2011.
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. This report from Harvard Medical School estimates 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. Accounting for the damages caused by coal increases the true cost of coal, making wind, solar, and other forms of non fossil fuel power generation, along with investments in efficiency and electricity conservation methods, much more economically competitive.