All explainers

A pair of smokestacks

Coal and Air Pollution

Air pollution from coal-fired power plants is linked with asthma, cancer, heart and lung ailments, neurological problems, acid rain, global warming, and other severe environmental and public health impacts.
A chart showing how coal forms over time

How Coal Works

Coal is a main contributor to global warming, and has major negative effects on human health and the environment.

Energy and Water Use

Energy and water use are closely intertwined. Conventional power plants generate power by boiling water to produce steam that spins huge electricity-generating turbines.