- In the News
- LinkedIn Blog: American Voters are Unfamiliar with the Environmental and Technological Advancements Today’s Mining Industry Has Made
May 4, 2017
The U.S. mining industry is committed to being a good neighbor. However, Americans seem largely unaware of the environmental progress we have made in the past four decades.
A new poll conducted by Morning Consult for NMA shows that a majority of American voters are unfamiliar with the environmental and technological advancements today’s mining industry has made.
Less than 10 percent of voters could assess the scale of emissions reductions that have been attained in coal-powered plants, the acreage reclaimed and restored from mined lands, and other benchmarks of mining’s progress. Additionally, just one in five voters correctly identified clean coal technologies that have dramatically reduced power plant emissions since the first Earth Day in 1970.
This is alarming since over the past 40 years, coal-fueled power plants have worked hard to reduce emissions by more than 90 percent. With the advancement of technology, there are a variety of ways that modern coal-based electricity generation is cleaner and more efficient. For example, High Efficiency, Low Emissions (HELE) technologies, such as supercritical and ultrasupercritical combustion technologies, are used in new pulverized coal combustion systems to operate at increasingly higher temperatures and pressures and achieve higher efficiencies than conventional units with significant CO2 reductions. A one-percentage point improvement in the efficiency of a conventional coal plant results in a 2 to 3 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. And developments in Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) will continue to help plants capture CO2 emissions, which can be used for enhanced oil recovery or stored permanently in geological formations.
In addition, all mining projects in the United States must begin with extensive environmental studies and plans for reclaiming the land after operations cease.
Did you know that since 1978 more than 2.9 million acres of mined lands have been restored? Mining operations are complete only when lands are fully restored.
Our mining companies are dedicated to maintaining environmental standards, protecting wildlife and habitats – all while providing resources that foster innovation and help the economy grow.
NMA is committed to encouraging responsible use of our nation’s natural resources and educating the public about the accomplishments of our industry.