The following is a response to the article “Breaking Away From Coal” by Clifford Krauss, which originally appeared in the New York Times Opinion section. Krauss starts the article by explaining how several of the coal burning plants of North Carolina are switching to using natural gas generators. The article explains that this is because of the lower prices, and easier maintenance that natural gas has to offer. The sudden decision to switch from coal to gas is also because of the new pollution laws that have been established by North Carolina. According Michael Zenker, a gas analyst at Barclays Capital, coal is losing its advantages both as a suitable energy source, and as an affordable one. Dan Eggers, a Credit Suisse energy analyst goes on to say that the transition from coal to natural gas has the potential to reshape the entire energy consumption rate of the United States, especially with the E.P.A. pressing to lower carbon emissions. Despite this, some investors believe that coal prices can remain low enough to still be efficient, but most people agree that gas plants are more likely to replace coal plants in the coming years.
Every day, I see people using coal in some way or another. Most of the time, people don’t notice because they’ve grown too comfortable with thinking that its a never-ending energy source that has no damaging consequences whatsoever. That’s why I found the article interesting, because it acknowledges the consequences of burning coal from both an environmental and economic perspective. I thought Krauss’s article to be informative and more uplifting than other articles I have read. Unlike so many articles I read in the newspaper, this one pointed out one of the positive things that America is doing to try to better itself. Krauss’s article was also easy to understand from an average person’s perspective. I think that this article relates to everyone who uses coal as their primary source of energy, whether it be in a house, work building, or any other man-made, energy using creation. This also think that this an important issue to keep up on, especially considering the fact that coal accounts for at least fifty percent of the entire country’s energy supply. For those who aren’t good at math, that’s a lot. I feel that this energy transition is an excellent breakthrough for getting the country’s economy and environment back on the right track.
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