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Paying for coal
Paying for coal
A surcharge amounting to roughly 4 cents a month could immediately appear on your electric bill if cap-and-trade is enacted. It's for coal.

Coal is dirty. But it's also abundant and cheap, so we're probably going to continue using it as an energy source well into the future.

Some say coal can be made cleaner by capturing the carbon emissions and injecting them deep underground. Others say it's too expensive and that the carbon could seep out and re-enter the atmosphere.

Either way, it's not yet economically feasible on a large scale, but this surcharge would pay for research to try and make a cleaner way to burn coal more cost competitive.

NEXT: A garden on the roof

Last updated June 26 2009: 10:07 PM ET
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