environmental impact of energy

Energy and environmental problems are closely related, since it is nearly impossible to produce, transport, or consume energy without significant environmental impact. The environmental problems directly related to energy production and consumption include air pollution, climate change, water pollution, thermal pollution, and solid waste disposal. The emission of air pollutants from fossil fuel combustion is the major cause of urban air pollution. Burning fossil fuels is also the main contributor to the emission of grenhouse gases. Diverse water pollution problems are associated with energy usage. One problem is oil spills. In all petroleum-handling operations, there is a finite probability of spilling oil either on the earth or in a body of water. Coal mining can also pollute water. Changes in groundwater flow produced by mining operations often bring otherwise unpolluted waters into contact with certain mineral materials which are leached from the soil and produce an acid mine drainage. Solid waste is also a by-product of some forms of energy usage. Coal mining requires the removal of large quantities of earth as well as coal.


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