Coal may be cheap and abundant, but mining it is dirty and dangerous and is another example of the truth of the cliche, "penny wise, pound foolish."
Like WalMart, this is an example of the high cost of low price.
Meanwhile, my state is working to change the future for the better:
California energy regulators placed a $2.9 billion bet on solar power Thursday, backing a landmark plan that environmentalists hope will become a model for the nation.
The California Public Utilities Commission approved pouring money -- drawn from a new charge on utility bills -- into rebates for residents and businesses that install solar panels during the next 11 years. No state in the country currently spends more.
"Our hope is that solar will become a major part of California's energy portfolio," said commission President Michael Peevey. "This solar program simply offers one more alternative to Californians concerned about a clean energy future."