Burn! Scientists Say Missouri and Illinois Pay Billions to Import Coal

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A gift to clean energy advocates from the Union of Concerned Scientists - IMAGE SOURCE
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  • A gift to clean energy advocates from the Union of Concerned Scientists
A report on coal imports from the Union of Concerned Scientists was just about a month too late for the Great Coal Debate at Washington University.

It's a pity too, because the environmental activist group found that the Show-Me State shelled out $1.13 billion for coal and that sure seems like something the Sierra Club would've liked to point out to Peabody Energy.

Illinois was actually worse, according to the Concerned Scientists, paying $1.49 billion to bring in coal from Wyoming despite the fact that the Land of Lincoln is itself one of the nation's top-ten coal producing states.

The St. Louis Business Journal explains the results nicely in this morning's edition. The obvious solution to the bi-state area's coal dependency? Go green.
The report says states would benefit from spending more money on local renewable energy technology and energy efficiency programs.

The state of Missouri is the most dependent on net imports as a share of total state electricity use, at 82 percent, the report said. Missouri spent about 22 cents a person on ratepayer-backed electricity efficiency programs in 2007, but cutting annual energy use by 1 percent could save consumers $30 million and keep the state from having to send as much as $13 million out of state in the first year.

Renewable energy sources, particularly wind and bioenergy, could generate about nine times Missouri's 2008 electricity needs, the report said.
Meanwhile, in other coal news, families of the workers who were killed in a Massey Energy Co. coal mine explosion in West Virginia earlier this year testified before Congress today that they were "urged to conceal defects" before the accident.

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