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Issue Position: Hidden Costs of Fossil Fuels

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

The price consumers pay for fossil fuels like coal and natural gas on their utility bill is substantial every month. However, that price does not represent the full life-cycle costs of these fuels. Health, environmental, and economic damages resulting from the burning of fossil fuels are a substantial burden on Arizonans and are not accounted for in the price of these fuels. This is bad economics, because markets react to prices, and as long as Arizona does not account for the hidden costs of fossil fuels, their price will continue to be artificially low. Arizonans must bear hundreds of millions of dollars in health costs that result from particulate pollution from coal-fired power plants. A 2011 study by the Harvard School of Medicine found that if the full life-cycle costs of coal were accounted for in its price, clean energy like solar and wind would make far more economic sense for consumers. I will fight to clean up Arizona's air and reduce heart attacks, asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis, lung disease, and premature deaths that result from Arizona's heavy reliance on coal. We must consider life-cycle costs, including burdens forced upon consumers after fuels have been burnt.

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