28 October 2009

Water and Coal

How wonderfully concurrent that today is such an environmentally important day for water and coal. Yesterday the destruction of Coal River Mountain via Moutaintop removal began.
Coal is a tremendously thirsty energy source in all the stages of its life from mining to disposal.

Leaves in stream polluted by Acid Mine Drainage

As soon as mining begins, acid mine drainage starts poisoning the nearby streams.
Then tremendous volumes of clean water are mixed with chemicals to wash the coal, which is then stored in giant impoundments which burst with alarming frequency to wash away the poor citizens unfortunate enough to live below.

Coal Slurry

Half of all the fresh water used in the USA is to cool power plants (half of which are coal). And today the EPA released a report acknowledging that coal ash is an unregulated extremely dangerous polluter of groundwater (and surface water as anyone in Kingston, TN will tell you).

Turn off the lights. “Just say no” to coal.

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