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Coal is a people-killer [Letter]

Coal-fired power plants are the greatest source of greenhouse gas in America ("Carbon rules can work," June 2). Neighboring West Virginia extracts 90 percent of its power from coal alone, and there are eight active coal units in Maryland that violate the EPA's requirements for the filtering of sulfur dioxide, smog-inducing nitrogen oxide and other toxic emissions. Maryland is in soot soup! Not surprisingly, there are 34 deaths per million asthma cases in Baltimore. Twenty-eight percent of city high school students claim diagnosis (national average was 20 percent in 2007). We have one of the highest pediatric hospitalization rates in the nation. How long would you hold your breath just to keep the lights on in Charm City?

In deconstructing the coal industry, we must stand up to the gibberish of global warming deniers. One of their most ridiculous objections to President Barack Obama's proposed regulations under the Clean Air Act is that shutting down coal-fired power plants kills jobs. Who do they think is going to build the wind farms and other better sources of energy? Who will manage and repair them? Furthermore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency predicts that for every $1 invested in the initiative there will be a $7 savings in medical costs (reduced asthma, cancer and other ailments).

Kevin Kriescher, Baltimore

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