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Proposal: Buy Out, Shut Down U.S. Coal Industry For $50 Billion

Twelve years ago, he and others founded CalCars, a group dedicated to promoting plug-in hybrid vehicles with large battery packs–and built the world’s first plug-in Prius hybrid.

Now he and coauthor Gil Friend have published an audacious proposal to buy up and shut down every private and public coal company operating in the United States.

MORE: Electric Utilities Now Fighting Home Solar As Threat To Their Business

The price: a surprisingly low $50 billion.

Power plant

Power plant

The pair’s goal is to eliminate coal as a fuel for generating electricity in the U.S. Compared to growing supplies of natural gas–let alone renewable sources like wind and solar–coal is a high-carbon fuel that produces greater levels of climate-change gases per kilowatt-hour generated.

In an article yesterday in The Guardian, the pair outline the benefits from shutting down U.S. coal beyond addressing climate change: eliminating acid rain from sulfur dioxide emissions, smog from nitrous oxides, human cardiopulmonary damage from particulates, and airborne emission of toxins like mercury, lead, and cadmium.
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