This is contrary to what is realized when coal is used as a source of energy. Even though it is considered to have a lot of emissions which are harmful to the environment and which are considered to be the major cause of global warming, it is estimated that the use of coal based energy adds one trillion dollars to U. S. GDP. It also provides more than three hundred billion dollars in terms of household income and more than seven million jobs.
Coal is associated with producing harmful gases which are said to pollute the already unhealthy air. This is said to increase the cases of airborne diseases such as asthma and also more deaths and hospitalization as a result to pulmonary and respiratory distress. This makes the policy makers to propose for the making of new coal-fired power plants. The levels of air in Texas is said to be safe and will become better unless there are more pollution.
33 percent of the electric power is from coal powered plants in the United States and this makes up just 19 percent of electric capacity in Texas. It also has two nuclear power plants provide eleven percent of electricity. This is attributed to the efficiency associated with the nuclear power plants. These plants has unparalleled safety record. About 28 years ago, there was an accident in Pennsylvania which brought the power plant to a stand still.
The use of nuclear as the base load source of electricity has a lot of benefits such as low operating cost, high operating efficiency and the large domestic use. Furthermore, the use of nuclear power may be considered as a relatively clean power source. It produces very low amount of carbon dioxide and other gases which pollute the environment. It can also be said to have completely no emission which result to green house effect when it is compared to natural gas and coal. ( US Census Bureau, 2008)
Even though the nuclear power proves to be better than the rest, Texas will need new peak power and base load before the next nuclear generator is operational. There are reasons which conclude that the next nuclear power plant may not be built in the near future. One is that these plants are more expensive to build as compared to gas or coal fired plants. Another reason is that there has been a great deal of fear among the public concerning their safety for having a plant built in their vicinity due to the seriousness of the accident associated with them.
The other reason is that the federal government has completely failed to streamline the regulatory licensing process and therefore find a permanent storage facility for spent nuclear fuel or even begin the recycling of that fuel. (Burnett, 2008) This means that with the increasing population and if the power remain as they are; that is without new capacity, Texas may in the near future experience increased energy prices or periodic blackouts or even both. The only solution for this is the use of coal as it is the only one that can deliver the amount of inexpensive, reliable power that is needed.
In conclusion, coal fired plants have serious adverse effects as is the case with the other forms of electricity production even though with the other forms there is no evidence of the effect on environment and on human beings. It is therefore the duty of the policymakers to consider this fact while considering the implantation of new coal-fired power plants. This also proves that if there has to be increased economic growth in Texas, coal have to play a major role in Texas’ electricity production.
Burnett, S. Power For The Future. January 2008. 10 December 2008 <http://www. texaspolicy. com/pdf/2008-01-PP02-power-burnett. pdf>. Climatehotmap. org. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2001. 10 December 2008 http://www. climatehotmap. org/ IFAD. Combating Environmental Degradation. 23 August, 2007. 10 December 2008 http://www. ifad. org/events/past/hunger/envir. html Macawber. com. Pneumatic Conveying. August 16, 2008. 10 December 2008 http://saferenvironment. wordpress. com/2008/08/16/population-growth-and-environmental-degradation/