Posts tagged: coal

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.


unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
05 May 2009, 11:47 AM
Sunflower coal-fired power plant approved

Spinning faster than a Kansas twister, the state's new governor has done what he led us to believe he wouldn't: approved massive expansion of the Sunflower coal-fired power plant.

This is a totally unexpected setback for those who took Gov. Mark Parkinson at his earlier word, believing that he would support the clean-energy policies of former-governor Kathleen Sebelius. Sebelius vetoed legislation that would have allowed the Sunflower expansion, then left the state to join President Obama's cabinet—with Parkinson vowing to stand by the veto.

View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
01 May 2009, 4:35 PM

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a must-read LA Times articlethat explores the dramatic effects of climate disruption on Australia. In response to these worsening conditions, seven Australian climate scientists sent a letter to the owners of every coal-fired power plant in Australia. The letter carries a blunt message: no new coal-fired power plants, unless they are zero-emissions…and operated by unicorns (ok, I added the unicorn part).

But an outright ban on new coal-fired power plants isn't enough, as the authors of the letter indicate:

Genuine action on climate change will mean that coal-fired power stations cease to operate in the near future. [Read the whole letter]

As noted in both the letter and the aforementioned LA Times article, coal-fired power plants supply more than 80% of Australia’s electricity (compared to around 50% in the United States). Replacing coal-fired power in Australia and here at home with clean and safe energy sources will require a massive, coordinated (and very necessary) effort. But abandoning the dirty fuels of the past will help us ensure that our future is filled with opportunities.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
29 April 2009, 12:37 PM
Sebelius moves on to Sec. of Health and Human Services

Now that Big Coal has stumbled in New Mexico, the industry is targeting Kansas in hopes of re-igniting the expansion of coal-fired power in America.

Although their chances are slim, they are counting on a shift in state leadership to help them out. Yesterday, Kathleen Sebelius—who has four times vetoed power plant expansion legislation—relinquished her role as governor to become President Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services. Her successor is the lieutenant governor, and born-again Republican, Mark Parkinson.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
28 April 2009, 4:11 PM

(Update: check out the excellent editorial in the Durango Herald)

A significant number of Navajos were thrilled this week at the EPA’s decision to take back the permit it issued last year—under the Bush administration--for the massive coal-fired Desert Rock power plant.

The EPA said sufficient analysis had not been done to ensure protection of health and the environment.

Proposed to be built on Navajo nation lands in New Mexico, the plant would impose a massive industrial complex on the landscape, douse the region with air pollutants, and strain critical water resources.

Nation leaders have endorsed the plant for the jobs it would bring, but a dissident group of Navajo citizens, including the group DineCare, represented by Earthjustice, see things differently:

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
27 April 2009, 2:19 PM

John Kerry and Barbara Boxer are two of the greenest members of the Senate. Jim Inhofe is the Senate's chief global warming denier. But last week—on Earth Day, no less—they came together to introduce a bill requiring the EPA to look at ways to control a dangerous pollutant that kills millions worldwide and accelerates global warming, particularly in the Arctic.

No, not carbon dioxide, which remains the main driver of worldwide climate change, but black carbon, airborne microscopic particles of soot. In the United States and Europe, black carbon comes from diesel engines and industrial smokestacks. In the developing world, the main source is primitive cooking and heating fires.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
22 April 2009, 5:00 AM

One of the many dirty little secrets about oil shale is that it will take huge amounts of energy to turn rock into a product we can put in our cars and trucks.  That's because the currently proposed technology for producing oil shale involves using what amounts to glorified curling irons underground, heating them up to hundreds of degrees and melting the "kerogen" into something that can be sucked out of the ground and could be refined into a useable product.

To heat all those curling irons could require 10 or more new coal-fired power plants, making oil shale one of the dirtiest source of energy per unit in terms of greenhouse gases.  This production process would also be incredibly thirsty - producing one barrel of fuel from shale may require 3 or more barrels of water.

6 Comments   /  
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
21 April 2009, 11:44 AM

It’s hard to know who’s happy and sad over the prospects of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius being plucked to become President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. Timing is the big issue.

A Senate committee voted in favor of her today. The full Senate is expected to also vote in her favor – but when?

In just a week, Sebelius’ veto of the Sunflower coal-fired power plants bill will be challenged in a special veto session of the state legislature. She’s won this battle three times, but what if she’s not there this time? What if she’s confirmed for HHS before then and Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson becomes governor?

1 Comment   /  
View Tom Turner's blog posts
21 April 2009, 10:51 AM

When the going gets tough, call the PR department, and ask it to come up with a spiffy new acronym. It's a recognized ploy with a long history.

Here we go again.

The bold, ambitious plans to push solar power plants, windmill farms, and other green facilities is causing a major backlash among industries used to having their way with government policy -- coal companies, oil companies, the usual suspects.

The latest effort is being led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with three million members nationwide (some of those members are almost certainly very uncomfortable with what's coming; maybe there will be a mutiny; one can only hope).

5 Comments   /  
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
03 April 2009, 3:30 PM
... but is 10 votes short of being veto-proof

The Kansas state legislature today gave final passage to a bill authorizing massive expansion of the Sunflower coal-fired power plant -- but there is unexpected good news in the vote ... it's 10 votes short of being veto-proof in the House.

This means that the promised veto from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is more likely than ever to survive. An earlier vote in the state House had a margin of only five votes. She is expected to veto the bill next week.

View Jared Saylor's blog posts
31 March 2009, 1:56 PM

In the final witness panel, Tom Kilgore, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, said that they have posted information on their website.

But as mentioned earlier by Harriman resident Sarah McCoin, many of the residents simply don’t have ready access to the internet and to TVA’s website. Much like if a tree falls in the forest one wonders if it makes a sound, if there is information available on health impacts that doesn’t actually get to the residents who are most affected, does it really serve to protect?