For dozens of workers who cleaned up the nation’s worst coal ash spill and became sick, a recent jury verdict against their employer was a major victory. Now, their attorneys will need to link each plaintiff’s illness or death to toxic substances in the ash to determine financial damages. The outcome is likely to be closely watched by others who live near coal ash sites.
Mainly due to higher oil and natural gas use, carbon emissions from the world’s advanced economies are set to rise slightly in 2018, the International Energy Agency says. That would break a five-year decline in emissions.
Champions of coal claim it can be made environmentally friendlier using chemicals and a technology backed by a billion dollars in U.S. government tax subsidies annually. But a Reuters analysis of EPA data shows that power plants burning it often pump out more nitrogen oxides—the main contributor to smog—not less.