Friday, February 6, 2009

Coal Gets a Beating

This week has been a tough one for the coal industry, from lawsuits, to activists, to state-wide moratoriums, coal has definitely taken it’s lumps.

8 coal companies in West Virginia are being sued by 250 local residents that say the orange and black water coming from their faucets is caused by the coal plants right down the road. The lawsuit claims that underground cracks allowed for the waste pumped back into coal mines to contaminate underground waterways.

Also in West Virginia, activists chained themselves to bulldozing equipment to protest the blasting of Coal River Mountain for a mountaintop removal operation. The actions by the groups Climate Ground Zero and Appalachian Mountain Justice are an attempt to block Massey Energy's project and promote a wind farm at the site instead.

In Georgia state legislatures introduced House Bill 276 that would prevent the consumption of coal mined by use of mountain top removal, and would suspend permits filed before July 2009 to build new coal-fired generation.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in her State of the State address this past Tuesday, called for a move away from coal-fired power plants as an energy source. As a result her new policies will delay the 8 plants that have been proposed in her state. The Governor also hopes to rejuvenate the state’s struggling economy by “nurturing a ‘Green Energy’ industry.”

Across the nation coal is literally becoming a dirty word. It’s no longer just the “hippy dippy granola eaters” up in arms about saving our environment, but it’s now the suburbanites, landowners, and even politicians leading the fight. The nation is slowly waking up to the future that coal has in store for us, and is realizing that it’s not as pretty as once projected.

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