Health cost for renewable vs fossil energy 7 cents per kilowatt hour.

Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies
Ars Technica

A paper in Nature Energy this week dives into the weeds by trying to estimate the economic benefits of wind and solar power across the whole of the US. Berkeley environmental engineer Dev Millstein and his colleagues estimate that between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths have been averted because of air quality benefits over the last decade or so, creating a total economic benefit between $30 billion and $113 billion. The benefits from wind work out to be more than 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, which is more than unsubsidized wind energy generally costs.

Two ways to look at this: Either we should be subsidizing the cost of solar/wind at 7 cents/kWh or we should be adding a 7 cents/kWh tax to all fossil-fuel generated electricity (coal/oil/NG).

WV Wants annual $4.5 billion subsidy for coal

West Virginia governor wants to sell Trump on a $4.5 billion coal bailout by calling it a “homeland security initiative”
Washington Post

Jim Justice, the Republican governor of West Virginia, is floating a federal proposal to bail out the struggling Appalachian coal industry at a cost to taxpayers of up to $4.5 billion a year.

As Justice described it to the Wall Street Journal, under the proposal, the federal government would pay out $15 to eastern power companies for each ton of Appalachian coal they purchase.

Justice is attempting to sell the proposal as a “homeland security initiative” for protecting the eastern energy grid. He told a West Virginia newspaper that “if you’re all on gas or you’re all on gas and western coal and somebody puts a bomb at a gas junction point or somebody puts a bomb on a bridge coming from the west, you could very well lose the entire eastern power grid.”

Right, and if we switch to distributed generation (roof-top solar and neighborhood/city-wide solar farms) then someone blowing up a pipeline (pipelines do explode with worrying frequency, but because of incompetence, poor maintenance, and accidents, not because of “terrorism”) has a negligible effect on the grid. Centralized power distribution (like we have now) is HIGHLY vulnerable to mishap, neglect, natural disaster, and attack.

$4.5 billion would be better spent on modernizing the grid, moving from coal to renewable power and re-training coal miners for green energy jobs. Seems to me that it is better to work outside in the fresh air and sunshine, than in a hole in the ground.