"In 2012, 34,080 lives ended early on American roads," writes Stephen J. Smith. "That’s a big number, but it’s not as large as the number of people who die prematurely each year due to pollution caused by cars and trucks, according to a new study in the journal Atmospheric Environment."
"Authored by five researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," he explains, "the study found an estimated 200,400 premature deaths attributable to combustion emissions in the U.S. last year. Of those, a bare majority were due to either road transportation or electric power generation."
"While deaths from auto pollution largely tracked dense urban areas with the most traffic, early deaths related to electricity generation emissions were concentrated overwhelmingly east of the Mississippi, especially in the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountain regions, which have long traditions of burning coal for electricity."