By Peggy Parks

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S. Electricity People in the United States rely on coal for about half of all electricity that is generated. During 2008, coal-fired power plants produced more electricity than any other fuel source. Electricity Generation by Fuel Source—2008 5% 49% 6% 20% 21% Coal Natural gas Nuclear Hydroelectric Other* *Includes wind, petroleum, wood, waste, geothermal, other gases, solar thermal and photovoltaic, batteries, chemicals, hydrogen, purchased steam, miscellaneous technologies, and non-renewable waste.

Coal Mining Our Future, “Before During & After,” 2009. net. Coal Mining Our Future is an organization of southeastern Kentucky coal mining companies. Bracketed quotes indicate conflicting positions. * Editor’s Note: While the definition of a primary source can be narrowly or broadly defined, for the purposes of Compact Research, a primary source consists of: 1) results of original research presented by an organization or researcher; 2) eyewitness accounts of events, personal experience, or work experience; 3) first-person editorials offering pundits’ opinions; 4) government officials presenting political plans and/or policies; 5) representatives of organizations presenting testimony or policy.

In the process, thousands of acres of trees in ancient forests are cut down to clear the land. Millions of tons of rock and other overburden are bulldozed out of the ground 53 Coal Power and either piled in massive heaps or dumped into valleys and streams. According to the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, mountaintop removal mining is the most environmentally devastating method of retrieving coal from the earth. Science and environmental journalist John McQuaid says that mountaintop removal mining destroys forests and streams, fouls waterways farther down the mountain, and permanently disrupts delicate forest ecology.

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Coal Power by Peggy Parks

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