Saturday, January 10, 2009

clean coal my @$$

While campaigning in the region last fall, Obama the candidate vowed to pursue "clean coal technology" as a means to reduce US dependence on "foreign oil." That was one of the statements that clued me in to the fact that my definition of the word "change" didn't have much in common with his definition of the word.

Coal is dirty business, folks. What is even dirtier is the TVA's attempts to, er, whitewash the disastrous coal ash spill that occurred in Harriman, TN three weeks ago. In what it calls its haste to react to the disaster, the TVA grossly underestimated not only the amount of ash released, but also the potential environmental and health hazards that would ensue. I'm amazed that this environmental nightmare is getting minimal news coverage not just nationally, but even here, just a couple hundred miles from the site.

Early today, another toxic leak occurred at a TVA-operated plant in Alabama. Once again, the utility is denying any negative impact on the environment or water supplies. WTF???

Watch this video from a sampling trip taken by local environmentalists. And let our new president know that there is no such thing as clean coal.


  1. I certainly wasn't aware of the coal ash spill; I've seen nothing about in the paper, or on the news.

    How the deuce does one make coal "clean"? I admit that I'm not as informed as I should be on this issue, so I guess I can ask a dumb question.

    BTW, the video was quite disturbing...but thanks for pointing out this outrage.

  2. Tuesday, it is crazy indeed.

    jaded - the "clean coal" camp espouses new technologies that reduce emissions from coal-fired plants. To my knowledge, they have never addressed the environmental destruction wreaked when extracting the coal, nor the "safe" disposal of the after-products. Ain't no soap, fruity or not, that can make coal clean!

  3. It amazes me that the myth of clean coal is not adequately discussed in the television news media, however, it does give me hope to see people commenting on just that, even if it is online. We all know that the internet has the ability to affect massive amounts of change, and I hope the issue of clean coal is one of them. If you have not yet discovered it, there is a coalition of many groups dedicated to fighting the misinformation about clean coal. has launched a 100 Days of Action to Power Past Coal campaign, and its goal is to provide, through the website, the ability for community activists to add their local events and gather information about clean coal. Please check it out, and let’s make this a powerful campaign. In order to do that, we need all the assistance we can get.


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