Archive for coal

Friday Links

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This wonderful photo is from this page: http://www.acfonline.org.au/about-us/our-success-stories/conserving-great-barrier

This wonderful photo is from this page: http://www.acfonline.org.au/about-us/our-success-stories/conserving-great-barrier - i.e., the Reef before the Abbott Point coal terminal dumps its dredge spoil into it

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approves plan to dump Abbot Point spoil

Montana Ranks 3rd Nationally in Tea Party Members per Capita
(from the Montana Cowgirl Blog)

A Few Things to Know About Angry Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm

Here's How to Know if Your GMail has Been Hacked (Note: this is very easy to check.

Cat angrily defends home against the mailman through the mail slot.

US-Built Afghan Roads Turn into Death Traps

Indiana Police Believed Woman's Tale of Supernatural Haunting That Ended in Exorcism

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Whose Fault Are These Toxic Spills? Ask The Anti-EPA Advocates.

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toxic blame game

Mitch McConnell approved this message as you'll hear at the end:

My heart goes out to anyone who's worked their entire life thinking their workplace environment was safe while. as it turns out, it was not. To hear this commercial and the little bit that's left of cancer victim Robert Pierce's voice, you'd think what Mitch McConnell did for Kentucky was a valiant thing. He rode in on a white horse to save the day, or in Pierce's case, his life.

But lets boil it down a bit and see how the Senate Minority Leader's actions were really nothing more than mopping up spilled milk after he was warned the container wasn't safely stored in the first place. This was an accident waiting to happen and McConnell (and other elected GOP officials) turned a blind eye toward it.

Here's why I find Mitch McConnell's ad disingenuous. HuffPo reports:

Other Paducah residents who suffered illnesses from poisoned wells and plant watchdogs who repeatedly warned of the hazards will likely disagree with Pierce's assessment.

For more than 15 years in office, as The Huffington Post chronicled in a profile of the senator, McConnell all but ignored the problems at the plant. Mark Donham, who had served as chairman of the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board, which monitored plant safety, told HuffPost, "McConnell never stood up and lobbied for an investigation" into the plant's hazards.

Sadly, people like Mitch McConnell are really just mops, not guardians of our safety. They're reluctantly willing, when it's politically expeditious, to step in but only after it's too late. Would Mr. Pierce have come down with throat cancer had the proper procedures been taken to ensure his safety? We'll never know. But warnings were given and McConnell ignored those calls.

Freedom Industries

Now we have a similar situation in West Virginia.

Two weeks ago chemicals leaked into the Elk River and the local drinking water reservoirs. A warning went out for the locals to not drink the water, shower in it or use it in any way other than to flush their toilets. People were becoming sick, some even ending up in the hospital. After a few days the people were told the water was safe to drink again. That was a lie. The perpetrators of this falsehood were Gary Southern and his Freedom Industries, the chemical leakers, who feared financial ruin. So they went into bankruptcy to save their offending company, and only after they received Chapter 11 protections, came out with the second warning that water really wasn't all that safe to use. Especially for pregnant women.

But it didn't stop there. Under bankruptcy protections they then revealed one thing they forgot to mention earlier. There was another chemical stored on their facility that also leaked into the water table.

Bloomberg Business Week:

So now we learn that there was a second coal-processing compound mixed into the West Virginia chemical spill that contaminated Charleston’s water system. The good news is that the experts think—maybe—the second chemical wasn’t any more dangerous than the first. Small comfort to the 300,000 people who lost their water and the 300 residents who had to seek medical help. The bad news is that the belated revelation reaffirms that the company behind the spill is truly out of control.

What was the official response when asked about the additional spill? Mr. Southern commented, "that it's a bad day for Freedom Industries."

Really? How about for the people in West Virginia and other states affected by the runoff of deadly chemicals?

Railing at Freedom Industries is no more responsible than railing at Kentucky's uranium plants. Anger needs to be placed at the feet of the elected officials who fought against any form of EPA enforcement or safety checks which could have nipped this in the bud. None of these plants had been checked in years. As a matter of fact, the state of West Virginia wasn't even aware that the second coal processing chemical was even stored at Freedom Industries. Why? The politicians claim this sort of monitoring and controls would cost jobs and money for the coal and uranium enrichment industries. No mention of the words, 'worker's safety.'

Well how much is this cleanup going to cost in lives, jobs and money?  Only time will tell. These disasters might have been prevented if politicians had done their jobs. And how interesting that most of these state politicians are Republicans. It does make you wonder how much they're really looking out for their constituents. Jobs are important. But so is job safety. McConnell and his kind have let down their states. Maybe this is what we should be reminding the Republicans in Washington who have made it their mission to eliminate and disembowel the Environmental Protection Agency.

Instead of thanking McConnell for making healthcare funds available to Mr. Pierce to fight his cancer, he should be asking the Kentucky senator why McConnell let this cancer happen to him in the first place.

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Video- Sen Joe Manchin: Obama declared "War on America" with Climate Change Speech

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I do believe they do alot of coal and fracking in Manchin's neck of the woods. Via.

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Video- Jennifer Granholm: Coal Is Back And It's Dirtier Than Ever

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Last night was the Governor's last night with Current, so I thought I'd highlight an outstanding piece.

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Video- 2012 Debate: Romney, Obama Get Heated Over Energy In Townhall

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Via TPM.

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Hey, kids! "Coal cares!" Now with free inhaler! (Yes, kidding)

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Added: And yes, this is a spoof site. And check this out: (h/t: NRDC, Natural Resources Defense Council)

ST. LOUIS, May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Earlier today, an activist group released a "spoof" website claiming to be sponsored by Peabody Energy. The site is in fact a hoax, making inaccurate claims about Peabody and coal.

Peabody is proud to help hundreds of millions of people live longer and better through coal-fueled electricity. A growing collection of studies demonstrate the correlation between electricity fueled by low-cost coal and improvement in health, longevity and quality of life. The United Nations has linked life expectancy, educational attainment and income with per-capita electricity use, and the World Resources Institute found that for every 10-fold increase in per-capita energy use, individuals live 10 years longer.

Government statistics show that in the United States, coal use has more than tripled in the past several decades while regulated emissions have declined 84 percent. Peabody Energy is a global leader in clean coal solutions and is advancing more than a dozen clean coal projects around the world, leading to our ultimate goal of near-zero emissions from coal.

Find out more at PeabodyEnergy.com or CoalCanDoThat.com.

CONTACT: Meg Gallagher

SOURCE Peabody Energy

Psst! Meg! There is no such thing as clean coal.

Original post:

Hey chums! Searching for the perfect birthday gift for your little tyke? Need a practical Bar Mitzvah present? Live just a tad too close to a coal plant? Have trouble breathing? Dealing with that annoying wheeze and the inability to inhale and exhale? Breathing becoming a real drag?

Wowzers! That's no fun!

Turn that frown upside down, because Coal Cares lets you inhale with pride!

Why Free Inhalers? Because COAL CARES.

Coal Cares™ is a brand-new initiative from Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company, to reach out to American youngsters with asthma and to help them keep their heads high in the face of those who would treat them with less than full dignity. For kids who have no choice but to use an inhaler, Coal Cares™ lets them inhale with pride.

Puff-Puff™ inhalers are available free to any family living within 200 miles of a coal plant, and each inhaler comes with a $10 coupon towards the cost of the asthma medication itself.

That's right, moms and dads, coal is the safest energy there is!

Black lung? Pfft!  Gasping for breath? Lapsing into panic mode? Turning blue?

You're in luck! Coal Cares has the answer! Free inhalers! Chase those pesky asthma blues away with your very own Miley Cyrus edition!

Better yet! Let "The Biebs" resuscitate you! Now that's hawt!

New to asphyxiation? Then My First Inhaler is for you!

And who the heck is this Peabody Energy anyway?

So breathe easy, kiddies, Coal Cares is on the way! Thank you, Peabody! You're the best!

H/t: Blondetwit

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Study: Gas from fracking worse than coal on climate

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First off, the HBO movie Gasland is a must-must-must see. It’s all about fracking, which is explained here. Fracking is destroying lives, destroying the environment, and needs to stop.

Need more proof? The Hill provides a sneak preview:

Cornell University professors will soon publish research that concludes natural gas produced with a drilling method called “hydraulic fracturing” contributes to global warming as much as coal, or even more.

The conclusion is explosive because natural gas enjoys broad political support – including White House backing – due to its domestic abundance and lower carbon dioxide emissions when burned than other fossil fuels.

Cornell Prof. Robert Howarth, however, argues that development of gas from shale rock formations produced through hydraulic fracturing – dubbed “fracking” – brings far more methane emissions than conventional gas production.

Professor Howarth:

“The [greenhouse gas] footprint for shale gas is greater than that for conventional gas or oil when viewed on any time horizon, but particularly so over 20 years. Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years,” states the upcoming study from Howarth, who is a professor of ecology and environmental biology, and other Cornell researchers.

Here is a sneak peek at the study, which, by the way, is not definitive. Please read the entire Hill piece for more details.

This is one of those times when "looking forward as opposed to looking backwards” is a very wise idea.

And the corporate bludgeoning will start in 5... 4... 3... 2...

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