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Investing in Energy: A Primer on the Economics of the Energy Industry by Gianna Bern

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Coal as a Fuel Source

One may view coal with mixed opinions. It is an abundant fuel source which is relatively economical when compared to other fossil fuel alternatives such as oil or natural gas. However, coal is a substance that, when burned, does emit some of the highest levels of carbon and other contaminants into the atmosphere. Therein lays the challenge in the energy industry. How does it utilize an abundant natural resource while managing goals of reducing atmospheric carbon emissions? Certainly, the United States and China are large coal consumers. This challenge becomes exacerbated when one extrapolates coal usage around the globe. Overall coal usage is declining in North America and Europe due to the concerted efforts to reduce carbon ...

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