The War on Coal

5 LSU Journal of Energy Law & Resources 21 (2017)

26 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2018

Date Written: February 12, 2018


This article contends that the War on Coal is misguided. But so is the war for coal. Coal has produced great societal benefits throughout human history. Now we are increasingly aware that coal also causes significant harms. Replacing coal, though, is complicated by the extensive reliance on coal, the persistence of energy poverty, and the challenges of scaling up alternative sources of energy. Therefore, this essay suggests the adoption of policies that produce a gradual weaning from reliance on coal as an energy source, with the pace of that transition determined by the availability of reliable alternatives and the imperative of economic development in the world’s poorest communities.

Keywords: Coal, War on Coal, energy poverty, climate change, energy, developing nations, renewable energy, Clean Power Plan, Clean Air Act, fossil fuels

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Nagle, John Copeland, The War on Coal (February 12, 2018). 5 LSU Journal of Energy Law & Resources 21 (2017). Available at SSRN:

John Copeland Nagle (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics