Archive for December 3rd, 2010

Like Australia, U.S. Dependent on Coal For Power, Part 2

posted by Jael Ever @ 12:26 PM
December 3, 2010

Most Americans know next to nothing about the disasters that coal burning ash and sludge have caused in this country.  Apparently, coordination between the coal industry, the government and mass media, has successfully muted the dangerous effects that coal ash and sludge have on environments at the dump sites, and on people who live near them.  Thus, American citizens are far behind Australians in knowledge about coal as an unsafe, unclean energy source. 

 For instance in December, 2008, a vast coal ash spill flooded homes in the small town of Kingston (near Knoxville) Tennessee.  The Epoch Times reports that one billion gallons of coal ash sludge came barreling down on Kingston “crushing homes, poisoning rivers, and contaminating residential drinking waters sources.”  The United Mountain Defense Fund and the Earth Justice Web site report that the spill covered 300 acres and was 20 feet deep in places.  The sludge flood came from ash stored from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant.  One year later, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) reports that the Kingston site is an economically and environmentally dead wasteland.
 Yet the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), even coupled with the government’s Environmental Protection Agency, formed a group called the Coal Combustion Products Partnership, which continues to tout the success of recycling coal ash into marketed products such as concrete, carpet and wall board.  And ACAA continues to resist labeling coal ash as hazardous.  In fact, Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of PEER, says that nowadays coal ash is actually more poisonous than ever, because air pollution controls are pushing toxic elements down deeper into coal’s wasted residue.

 At some point Australia’s citizens, and most recently its political leaders, have decided that human life and the nation’s survival trump the usual lost jobs and economic failure argument that corporations use to avoid environmental controls.  And now, that country has leaders in office who are at least trying to curb coal’s polluting health hazards.  The simple matter is that industrialized nations, starting with the United States, must develop safer and cleaner sources of energy.  Workers can be retrained for work in safer environments, and people can live near energy plants without fear of the air they breath and the water they drink. 

 Of course, such changes will not take place without a moral struggle.  As wholesale Christian Bibles point out in 1 Timothy 6: 10, devotion to money without regard to human life cannot be the ruling mantra of an enduring nation.  And as Romans 12: 11 states, true business success includes pure service to God and man.  Hopefully Americans will follow the example Australians have set, and start moving to curb the power of the coal industry’s unclean product and its dangerous residue.

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