Fossil fuel combustion harms air quality and human health. A 2010 study by the Clean Air Task Force estimated that air pollution from coal-fired power plants accounts for more than 13,000 premature deaths, 20,000 heart attacks, and 1.6 million lost workdays in the U.S. each year. The total monetary cost of these health impacts is over $100 billion annually.
Schneider, C., and Jonathan Banks. 2010. The Toll From Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America’s Dirtiest Energy Source. Clean Air Task Force, September. link