We are THIRSTY for power - electric power. Look around your home. The American way of life is based on consumption and modernization. How many devices in your home CONSTANTLY draw power whether you use them or not? Microwaves, televisions, cable and satellite TV boxes, alarm clocks, computers, printers, AC/DC converters (the kind that charge your iPod or your cell phone)...it's a long list. Then there are simple efficiency issues...we can't all afford to run out and buy a new a/c or refrigerator just because a "slightly" more efficient model has come out. American manufacturers have not been held accountable to real efficiency standards.
Coal-fired power is cheap to purchase. It is domestic which is arguably a good thing for national security. And it fuels our unquenchable thirst for electricity.