Coal is going to be fairly important in about 20 years and for about 50 years.
There are a lot of the metals we need to build stuff in space within the rocks on the moon, and a lot of oxygen in the moon rocks, but not much carbon and very little hydrogen. Coal is essentially a solid mixture of carbon and hydrogen. We are going to need it, a lot of it, to provide the raw materials for biology to populate large orbital habitats, and we are going to need a lot of them, quite soon, to give us the space and options that most of us consider a necessary part of a reasonable standard of living. And we need to give every person on the planet a reasonable standard of living.
We need to stop burning coal – soon. We need it, for far more important purposes.
We have work to do!