I submit this letter as a fact-check against Donnie McFadden’s letter published in the Chronicle on June 7, “Coal pollution not just a problem in United States.”

Mr. McFadden suggests that the U.S. has a mere 15 coal power plants, and that they contribute minimally to global pollution. These statements are verifiably incorrect. As of 2017 (the most recent data readily available online), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there were 359 coal power plants operating in the United States, and those plants emitted approximately 1,300 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017. While this is indeed less than China’s plants emitted, it is somewhere between 10 percent and 20 percent of global coal-related emissions (depending on the global estimate used), hardly a “very tiny percentage of the planet’s coal pollution," as Mr. McFadden asserts.

The idea that reducing emissions from coal should not be a priority in the U.S. because U.S. emissions are insignificant globally is simply not consistent with the actual statistics on U.S. coal pollution.

Ryan Anderson

Bozeman