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unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

VIDEO: In the Shadow of the Stacks

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View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
23 December 2011, 3:41 PM
Coal plant pollution limits point to brighter future

The historic victory for clean air announced a few days ago—limits on the mercury, arsenic and other toxic emissions from coal plants—has been a long time coming. Congress called for these limits in 1990, but the coal power industry got to work undermining them straight away. As a result, instead of getting the breath of fresh air promised by Congress, Americans living in the shadow of a smokestack have been getting daily lungfuls of toxic air for 21 years.

It took determined litigation and public advocacy to break through the politics and industry's obstruction—the victory achieved on December 21, 2011 is the culmination of those long, hard years of fighting. Earthjustice got involved in the legal fight in 1994 and Jim Pew, a staff attorney in our Washington, D.C. office, has been dedicated to the cause for more than a decade, successfully arguing against attempts by the Bush administration to give power plants a pass.

This short video features Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan, neighbors—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a smokestack and the specter of a plume. Check it out, and if you feel moved to send a thank you to President Obama for issuing protections to cut down on the pollution coming from this bad industrial neighbors, you can do so here.

Global warming and economic unsustainability are ALL about OUR/YOUR OVER-consumption of fossil fuels and Energy WASTE.
America continues to WASTE over 70% of the Energy we consume.
Our cultural WASTE is omnipresent, and continues as if it does not matter.
Americans need to be told and ever reminded of the importance to 'STOP the/our/your Energy WASTE'.
All of the current & future improvements in Energy efficiency and improved auto millage, do not begin to compare with the immediate(today) ability to drastically reduce our energy demand; simply by eliminating unnecessary energy consumption.
BILLIONS of lights burn unnecessarily every day and night throughout AMERICA.
America OVER-heats and OVER-cools and OVER-lights as if it doesn't matter.
BILLIONS of gallons of fuel are WASTED every year by unnecessary driving.
Municipalities and SCHOOLS are the worst offenders when it comes to conservation.
There are still NO regulations or enforceable laws governing our hedonist squandering of our children's Energy future.
ONLY with an economic reward/consequence incentive (America must tax energy; in lieu of income taxes) will Americans care to 'STOP the/our/your Energy WASTE'

I would never thank President Obama for sabotaging our very own U.S. energy independence and willingly sending countries in the Middle East (also those who harbor terrorists) Trillions of American dollars. Keep living in your fairytale land where wind and solar magically meet our energy demand while the rest of us working an industry that actually contributes to our ecomony and GDP allow you walk around and protest all day.

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