Wow, what an impressive machine. They are fortuitous, you can say at least that. Their strength in lobbying and PR in the US has shown itself to be very effective, and not at all responsible.
Their PR campaign for “clean coal” makes me laugh but I’m sure people buy it, especially when Obama mentions it. I was intrigued when I first heard that term so I looked into it – essentially trying to filter/treat some of the contaminants in a more environmentally friendly way. What’s funny though is these facilities may see some reductions in compounds like sulphur oxides (SOx) and perhaps some VOCs, but they totally miss out on other big contaminants (NOx, CO2, other organic particulate matter which degrades air quality). Even more hilarious is that these technologies are extremely expensive! So much money for so little benefit. When coal accounts for the majority of energy production in the world’s biggest economies (i.e. China and USA), one wonders. Maybe I should just relax and maybe even sing a song:
About a month ago, 3-5 million cubic yards (the equivalent of 525.2 million gallons, 48 times more than the Exxon Valdez spill by volume) of coal ash sludge broke through a dike of a 40-acre holding pond at TVA’s Kingston coal-fired power plant covering 400 acres up to six feet deep, damaging homes, wrecking a train, and most importantly poisoning the surrounding community with no sign of real aid. What’s insane is that this toxic ash isn’t even considered toxic according to the EPA! Yet they tell the community to never let this ash into your home, never let your pets touch it (or drink the water). So… NOT toxic. Right. I know accidents happen, but where’s the accountability? The power of the coal lobby fully manifests itself in these regulatory circles – they have prevented toxic coal ash from being on the EPA list of contaminants. ?!??!?!?!?!?! Even better, the EPA head who acquiesced to the coal industry is now a main advisor for Obama. Here’s one of the many videos about the spill below:
I’m guessing Obama’s desire for coal is for energy independence and thus national security. America, you can make nuclear plants. I’m not saying nuclear is the answer, but I`ll take nuclear over coal any heartbeat of the week.
I could rant forever, and I know my posts are too long to begin with. So I will sum by saying that I’m glad in Canada we don’t rely on coal nearly as much as our neighbours to the south, even though we still rely on hydrocarbons just like any other nation. Let’s hope Obama doesn’t weaken his stance on lobbying and buy into the coal PR bullshit… is that reality ?