Coal to Gas Switching Benefits

Downstream Air Pollution Impacts of Coal to Natural Gas (Nature Sustainability)
Jennifer A. Burney (Jan. 06): The recent shift in the United States from coal to natural gas as a primary feedstock for the production of electric power has reduced the intensity of sectoral CO2 emissions, but—due to gaps in monitoring—its downstream pollution-related effects have been less well understood… Between 2005 and 2016 in the continental United States, decommissioning of a coal-fired unit was associated with reduced nearby pollution concentrations and subsequent reductions in mortality and increases in crop yield. In total during this period, the shutdown of coal-fired units saved an estimated 26,610 lives and 570 million bushels of corn, soybeans, and wheat in their immediate vicinities.

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