Coal usage in America to decrease

The Obama Administration released an energy proposal as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s massive 645-page plan to combat the effects of global warming. The proposal plans to cut down coal emissions for specific states by an average of about 30 percent by the year 2030. Currently, coal is the energy source of about 30 percent of the United States’ electricity consumption. As an inefficient resource, I’m glad that coal emission is brought down because of hazards involved in acquisition and consumption. Cleaner and more efficient sources like nuclear power need to be used and understood more thoroughly so humanity can prepare itself for future years. Fossil fuels cannot be abandoned though.
Daniel Nocera, a chemistry professor at MIT, wrote a paper in 2006 called “On the Future of Global Energy.” His general purpose was to find out where the world’s energy resources were coming from, how much of it humanity will need by 2050 and how to reach that estimated goal. Energy consumption is growing over time, but one of the largest concerns today is overpopulation. “…according to UN experts, world population is expected to reach around nine billion people by midcentury and then stabilize” wrote Cecil Adams, a columnist known for the Straight Dope. “The stabilization part is good, if maybe surprising to those raised on scare talk about the population explosion. The bad part is that nine billion is two billion more than we’ve got now.” Trends have been showing that as countries become more developed, people become more content with their living standards and start having smaller families.
The energy expectation for humanity in the years ahead isn’t to spend as much as power as the United States but rather to sustain basic living utilities like electricity and running water. Nocera noted that 13.5 terawatts were globally consumed in 2002. In 2050 he estimates the global consumption for the total population to be at least 28 terawatts, which is enough to provide basic utilities for most of the population.
Optimistically, if the “alternative” energies like biofuel or photoelectric plants, wind and hydroelectric power like dams used today were put to their maximum potential, the world would only come up with 14 terawatts a day. If we used nuclear energy to supplement the power as a non-carbon emitting fuel source, Nocera suggests building 8,000 new nuclear power plants could power 8 terawatts of energy. That’s still a total of 22 terawatts by 2050. Not only would humanity not reach its energy needs but would need to build at least two nuclear power plants every day until 2050 to reach this level. All the world’s natural resources will be required to sustain human life on this planet for the next century and I hope the government understands. Yucca Mountain is ready to accept nuclear waste and France is probably more than willing to share information on recycling radioactive material for use in power plants.

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