No matter where you stand on the carbon question, coal is here to stay.
Researchers, policy makers, investors, environmentalists, and everyday citizens are locked in a high-stakes debate over the future of energy and the environment.
As these debates intensify, so does the global demand for coal. According to Michelle Nijhuis of National Geographic Magazine, trends suggest that coal will bring electricity to several hundred million people over the next twenty years . Even the most aggressive alternative energy efforts would not be able to deliver such technological progress.
With human dependence on coal on track to remain a political and economic reality for the foreseeable future, responsible policy would mean dispelling the dirty coal myth that diverts resources and conversations away from solutions in the form of environmentally sound products and procedures.
Coal has always posed a challenge. Nijhuis traces its long line of critics back to 17th century England, when author John Evelyn lamented the “stink and darknesse” industrialization was bringing to London. Researchers and policy advocates, however, are becoming aware of the need to move from contentious, partisan debate to proactive, environmentally conscious intervention in mining and coal-work.
According to Sally Benson, a Stanford researcher in carbon storage, time is of the essence. We will need lots of “ands,” she explains. These include a wealth of ideas, strategies, and policies, working synergistically, all with the goal of producing cleaner global energy systems. The carbon problem, Benson warns, is simply “too big” for partisan antics.
With gas prices in the US nearing record lows, many power plants are making the transition to natural gas. Some cite this as a reason to abandon advanced coal technology altogether. Coal’s an obsolete resource, right?
Global trends say otherwise. According to National Geographic, world coal consumption is set to hit record highs. Last fall, coal provided 40% of the world’s electricity, and will eventually come to power nearly all of it. Ultimately, coal will continue to play one of the most important roles in global energy’s future.
Contending with this reality calls for multiform solutions and strategies. It means exploring both the “techno-fix fantasies,” as some critics refer to carbon capture, and the time-tested, environmentally proven procedures and tools developed by American companies like Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. to enhance the safety, efficiency, and production of mining work.
As Benson warns, the time for “and” solutions is now. Before going green was trendy, Midwest was strategizing ways to promote the success of American industry through “environmentally gentle, regulatory-compliant applications that work.”
So while carbon sequestering technologies are critical to explore, so are the more fundamental services, consultation, and research performed by companies invested in both the success of critical industries and a healthy environment. Long before the coal question entered the public consciousness, Midwest has been dedicated to providing total solutions.
More specifically, Midwest tackles coal- and equipment-handling issues resulting from freezing, mine tailings dust, conveyor belt dust, and haul road dust. Such concerns can be costly and dangerous, but by honing in on these very specific issues, product maintenance becomes less of an issue and compliance is guaranteed.
Midwest spends time researching developments in regulation and compliance so that its clients can take care of the business. These are the kinds of “and” strategies that will be essential to dispel the dirty coal myth and power the future of world energy.