Archive for Tennessee

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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Edwards Campaign Over, Appalachians Still Have No Say

Posted in Social and Political Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2008 by willyd22

 I supported John Edwards for President in ’08 as well as in ’04.  I am sadly disappointed in his withdrawal from this years election because I believe he was the best choice for President for the simple fact that he would have fought for the people that have no voice in this country.  His message of two Americas resonates true in my interpretation of the state of our nation.  Over this campaign I have felt that Edwards would do well here in West Virginia because we understand the message of two Americas.  We have lived in the lower part of the two Americas.  We have suffered in mass poverty.  We have struggled with poor educations.  We have toiled for low wages.  This is part of living in Appalachia.  We have always been part of America but mostly the lower America.  John Edwards was our Presidential candidate.  He would have fought for us as President.  But now, for what ever reason, we don’t get to support him.  I could go on about the biased  media or the ill informed electorate but that would simply be ranting and I would much rather this mean something more than simple blather.

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