Archive for clean coal

Nick Joe Rahall

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by ezlnwv
The Water in Rawl, WV

The Water in Rawl, WV

“This is my tap water.  I’m unemployed and can’t afford to buy any water.  I’m worrying now every day daily that I’m going to die.  I’ve asked a lot of the people around if they would watch out for my kids, you know … if I do die.” – Kenneth Stroud, Rawl, WV

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Senate Panel Hearing Impaired

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2009 by ezlnwv

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe walked out of a congressional hearing on the TVA disaster Thursday morning.  Inhofe, a member of the  panel, stated he did not want to hear the testimony of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Director Steven Smith, a man he calls an “extremist.”

Inhofe ranted that activists like Smith are taking advantage of the TVA collapse(s) to further their own political agendas. But, as Dave Cooper points out in this article, Inhofe has a political agenda of his own: to continue receiving massive campaign contributions from the coal industry.

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King Coal is a Poor Liar

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2009 by ezlnwv

Coal industry interests pillage and plunder boldly. And they justify their actions with arguments that are blatantly absurd.

Take, for example, the massive billboards Cat Walker has erected along Interstate Highways in West Virginia. Cat Walker is a major supplier of the mammoth machines operated on mountain top removal sites. On their billboards, in huge bold letters are the words: “Coal, clean carbon neutral.”

Really? Coal without carbon? Carbón (the spanish word for coal and carbon) sin carbón?

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Acid Mine Drainage: Little Understood, Majorly Lethal

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by ezlnwv

Most of the effects of strip-mining are conspicuous. One only has to venture away from an interstate or tourist trap in the coal fields to witness unimaginable destruction (try exit 74 on I77. Take a left at the exit, then another left).  But arguably the most detrimental aspect of strip-mining is more insidious–its lethalness not readily apparent. I am talking about acid mine drainage; and in this entry I will explain what it is, what causes it, and what effects it has on the environment and the health of its victims.

Acid mine drainage behind my house in Logan, WV

Acid mine drainage behind my house in Logan, WV. AMD is only manifest here because colorful iron deposits have precipitated.



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Tennessee Dam Collapse an Ominous Reminder for Coal-field Residents

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2008 by ezlnwv

At 1 a.m. this morning, an earthen dam holding back a pond of coal-ash collapsed, and a  frigid flow of toxic slurry destroyed 15 homes in the small community of Harriman, Tennessee.  The so-called “retainment” dam was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a place to dump poisonous ash left after they burn coal for electricity. 

According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, “Coal ash is composed primarily of oxides of silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, magnesium, titanium, sodium, potassium, arsenic, mercury, and sulfur plus small quantities of uranium and thorium (my emphasis).”  Needless to say, the long term health and environmental impacts of TVA’s pollution will be enormous.

Coal-ash ponds are a little-known but major hazard of coal-fired power plants. And wherever these plants are built, hundreds of acres are sacrificed to be the industrial dump site. Unfortunately, ash containment ponds are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the lakes of sludge that threaten Appalachian communties. In fact, the ash-ponds are mud puddles compared to the huge reservoirs that loom above “clean-coal” processing plants.

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Is Obama duped by PR scheme?

Posted in Save Appalachia, Social and Political Commentary with tags , , , , on December 13, 2008 by ezlnwv

Soon to be President Obama continues to support the extraction and burning of “clean coal.”  It seems that Obama has ignored the overwhelming evidence that “clean coal” is non-existant; that it is only a public relations mantra launched to prevent an all-out effort toward the development of other energy sources. As it is, the coal barons receive billions in tax dollars each year, and they want to keep it that way.


This used to be a mountain stream.

 Perhaps Obama believes in clean coal because its proponents have greater access to his ears and coffers.

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The Fight Against MTR, Round-Up

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2008 by ezlnwv

Weeks after the election of Barack Obama,  many community activists fighting mountain top removal are becoming weary that hope may not be on way.

And for good reasons.

Obama recently nominated Lisa Jackson to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading