Is Our Health Worth the Burn ?

Since the Industrial Era, coal-fired power plants have increased the amount of coal they burn. This method has become very preferable, reliant, easy, and cheap. It is the most efficient method to get things done. However, burning coal causes negative externalities. It effects those who burn the coal, those who use products that require burning coal, and those who do not use anything that require burning coal. Coal is used for multiple things such as electricity and heat.  Even though there are other alternatives, they are most likely expensive and time consuming compared to burning coal.

These power plants are generating a lot of pollution. As the demand for electricity and heat increases, the supply of coal increases as well. Therefore, the level of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere increases health problems, erodes the quality of life, global warning, acid rain and smog. As a result, in order to decrease these bad effects there must be a tax on everyone whether or not they use products that come from burned coal to help regulate behavior. As a whole, the optimal quantity causes the price to increase and the quantity will decrease to account for social cost.



Coal power: Pollution, politics, and profits

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