Most people know this by now but it is the raw natural resource of coal that makes a lot of the electricity in Texas. The primary issue with creating new coal power plants in Texas has to do with the mercury pollution a coal power plant can give off in a community where the power plant is located. No. U.S. stream is uncontaminated by mercury pollution, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Geologic Survey. That means wild fish caught in even the most pristine streams in Texas may be tainted with unsafe levels of a potent neurotoxin that can attack the developing brains of children, leading to permanent damage.
Although coal power plants make our electricity in Texas at very cheap prices we can afford we still need to be careful that the coal technology we use is updated. We can’t continue to spread airborne neurotoxins like mercury into our air that pollute our Texas water. Mercury can have devastating effects on our children in small doses and it only gets worse as a child who has been effected ages.
The way a coal power plant makes electricity is by having some kind of rotating machinery used to convert the heat energy of combustion into mechanical energy, which then operate an electrical generator. This rotating machinery is known as a turbine. Some of the less harmful pollutants or potentially not harmful at all are excess heat and carbon (CO2). The harmful pollutants we need to continue to reduce and get rid of completely come from the flue gas from combustion of the coal. When the flue gas is discharged to the air the plant pollutes it with nitrogen, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and (in the case of coal-fired plants) fly ash and mercury.
Until the US government, senators, and state representatives can make a clear case about how coal fired power plants can be safe to the public it will be hard for people in Texas to accept new coal power plants to make our electricity. We all want cheap electric power and I know of no other cheaper way other than nuclear power to create it than coal power. Until the scientists figure out a good solution lets continue to press for upgrades and retrofits to old coal power plants or the creation of new ones in order to take offline old outdated plants. Wind energy and solar panels are insignificant in offering another primary source for our electricity power so we need to keep looking at ways to make coal and natural gas power safer for the state of Texas.