In recent months there has been debate about allowing new coal-powered generation in Kansas. The Department of Health and Environment has objected to Sunflower Electric’s two new coal plants, which has resulted in a legislative debate for the second straight year. As a public health scholar, I have been following the debate and think it is important that we choose energy solutions that are clean.
Coal is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels available for power. Coal power produces sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, carbon dioxide and other toxic substances that lead to acid rain, smog, ozone and climate change.
Much of the “clean coal” propaganda is misleading. Coal is not clean. I believe the truth about coal-burning power plants should lead us to a different path for energy production in Kansas.