Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Environmental Dangers of Coal and Mountaintop Removal

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote an article about the environmental dangers of coal and mountaintop removal. With proposed coal-fired power plants in Marshalltown and Waterloo, it is something everyone should be aware of.

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.
The Iowa Utilities Board will be holding a hearing about the proposed coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown on January 14th. If you have concerns about the environmental impact of the plant, now would be a good time to give Gov. Culver a call.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. We need to immediately declare a moratorium on all new coal plants and end subsidies for coal, period.

One of the things that most troubles me about Obama is his record on coal (not just in Congress, also in the Illinois Senate).