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 Post subject: Coal's True Cost
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:02 am 
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Coal's True Cost by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

...In fact, there is no such thing as "clean coal." And coal is only "cheap" if one ignores its calamitous externalized costs. In addition to global warming, these include dead forests and sterilized lakes from acid rain, poisoned fisheries in 49 states and children with damaged brains and crippled health from mercury emissions, millions of asthma attacks and lost work days and thousands dead annually from ozone and particulates. Coal's most catastrophic and permanent impacts are from mountaintop removal mining. If the American people could see what I have seen from the air and ground during my many trips to the coalfields of Kentucky and West Virginia: leveled mountains, devastated communities, wrecked economies and ruined lives, there would be a revolution in this country.

Well now you can visit coal country without ever having to leave your home. Every presidential candidate and every American ought to take a few seconds to visit an ingenious new website created by Appalachian Voices, that allows one to tour the obliterated landscapes of Appalachia. And it's not just Arch Coal, Massey Coal and their corporate toadies in electoral politics who are culpable for the disaster. The amazing new website allows you to enter your zip code to learn how you're personally connected to the great crime of mountaintop removal. Using this website Americans from Maine to California can see these mountains and the communities that were sacrificed to power their home. The tool uses Google Maps and Google Earth as interfaces to a large database of power plants and mountaintop removal coal mines. A November 15, 2007 article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the site as one of the most innovative, cutting-edge uses of these powerful tools. The site puts a human face on the issue by highlighting the stories of families living in the shadows of these mines.


Kennedy brings up an important aspect of the 'clean coal' picture--that it isn't. In addition, the replies to his piece are interesting--sometimes aggravating, sometimes funny, sometimes right on. Well worth reading.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:17 pm 
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Interesting article. When are we going to get to the point where alternative energy sources won't be considered so alternative?

There's a bunch of stories out there about the hazards of coal (see Nevada coal power costlier than renewable: study). So, it would be a good idea to really start focusing on making the alternatives the primary sources.

The article I mention talks about a group called ECONorthwest. They provide reports from time to time on the problems with coal. But they also provide understanding on the alternatives as well.
Quote:
IV. A FEASIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO COAL: ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLE RESOURCES

Numerous researchers, agencies, and organizations have examined alternatives for meeting future demands for electricity. They have concluded that the best course is to avoid the development of new coal-fired generators and, instead, to invest in increasing energy efficiency, in developing generators powered by renewable resources, such as wind, geothermal heat, and solar radiation, and in developing new technologies, such as those that would capture and store the carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:21 am 
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well.............this might be a sticky subject for me to comment on.

if it weren't for coal my annual income would be nonexistant. i work at of the largest coal fired generating power plants in pennsylvania.

but as stated above i DO agree that the negative environmental impact of coal use is a huge problem if it remains unchecked/regulated.

for one thing i remember just a couple of weeks after bush was 1st sworn in after the 2000 election he signed an executive order to suspend/postpone scheduled EPA madates that were already on the books for all coal fired power plants to come into compliance with by 2010. bush gave the ok for power plants to use/buy/sell/transfer clean air credits between one or several stations to the next.

the problem i see is there are/is technology available to make emmissions much safer and i've seen it used on an experimental basis at homer city where i work.

kinda why we need a dem back in the whitehouse.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:05 pm 
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I am listening to everything I can hear on this. One question I hear is, even if we capture those emissions, what do we do with them? How can they be stored so they will not harm the environment?

Anyone heard anything concrete on this?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:57 am 
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that's another good question dori.

kinda falls into the category ofwhat we do with the nuclear waste that's accumulated when it's used in nuke power plants.

i'd have to do a little research before i could comment further.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:45 am 
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Thanks rooster. Yes, it is like the nuclear waste problem, isn't it!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:50 pm 
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What? We're not producing enough DU yet? More and bigger war plans will take care of that "nucular" waste.

I'm sure coal emissions can be used as a weapon too if we put our minds to it. Perhaps it will be classed as a WMD soon and an excuse to invade China for its overuse as a Weapon of Mining Destruction by world pollution!

As if we're not destroying enough here at home finding coal, we are also selling it to China to pollute us as well. Not to mention the pollution of articles we buy from China using our coal to manufacture that cheap junk. :roll:

....and the cycle continues......

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Thanks dori and Robert Kennedy Jr !

Coal's true cost > Asperger's/autism rate rising !

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:27 am 
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yankhadenuf wrote:
Coal's true cost > Asperger's/autism rate rising !


That is the scariest part--birth defects. Spontaneous abortions. Illness in both children and adults.

'Environment' encompasses much more than we normally think about.

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 Post subject: Coal's True Cost
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:07 am 
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[url]0http://planetark.org/wen/50795[/url]

Quote:
EPA Eases Rule On Mountain Top Coal Mining Debris

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is easing the way for coal companies to dump debris from mountaintop mining into nearby valleys and streams in a move deplored by environmental and Appalachian citizens' groups.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday approved the repeal of a 1983 law that prohibited surface coal mining within 100 feet of flowing streams. Most U.S. surface coal mining is done in the steep mountains of Appalachia, across Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.

EPA's approval was the last hurdle for a proposal that originated at the Interior Department's Office of Surface Mining. The rule goes into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

This will allow more mountaintop-removal mining, where coal is mined by blasting off the tops of mountains and the crumbled mountaintop debris is pushed into adjoining valleys, environmental groups said in a statement.


Isn't there a better way to mine coal without polluting everything downstream, not to mention blowing the tops off mountains? Can we install windmills on those bare mountains after we get that coal? Would that help?

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