From the Mining Association: The Case for Coal

The United Nations’ recent report on climate change and your editorial (, Oct. 8) — both of which target specific fuels rather than promoting existing solutions — are fundamental to the emissions challenge the world faces today.

Despite aggressive anti-coal campaigns, coal generates the same share of the world’s electricity today as it did 20 years ago. Hundreds of new coal plants are planned or under construction. Affordable, secure and reliable energy is the foundation of prosperity the world over, and as such, coal remains indispensable both here and abroad.

High-efficiency coal technologies that slash emissions are available and proven. Research on carbon capture and sequestration has advanced, but needs more support.

Effective emission-reduction strategies must focus on emissions, not specific fuels.

All-or-nothing energy extremism based on technologies that don’t yet exist, that countries and consumers can’t afford, or electrical grids can’t yet support, should end. The better path forward is to support the use and development of the solutions we have available today and to invest in improving and demonstrating the technologies of tomorrow.

Hal Quinn
The writer is president and chief executive of the National Mining Association.