ENVIRONMENT: Public has say on Virginia uranium study

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

RICHMOND — The potential for air and water contamination should be thoroughly studied before Virginia considers mining at one of the world’s largest deposits of the radioactive ore, environmentalists told lawmakers Friday.

The legislators also heard the wide-ranging concerns of residents, scientists and industry groups on what a study examining the impact of mining should entail. The subcommittee of the Virginia Commission on Coal and Energy plans further meetings to help frame the study.

While the hearing was intended to guide the uranium mining subcommittee on the scientific study, some speakers were skeptical any mining of the Southside Virginia deposit would not foul water, air or farmland.

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20081212/NEWS01/81212034/1002

The Coal Hard Facts , abec ,accce,americas power , clean coal,climate change,coal,coal industry, environment , global warming Top Ten Reasons Coal is Dirty

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The Coal Hard Facts

Top Ten Reasons Coal is Dirty


#1: Coal Increases Rates of Disease

The United States burns more than a billion tons of coal each year – that’s 20 pounds of coal for every person in the country, every day.

According to the American Lung Association, 24,000 people a year die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants. And every year 38,000 heart attacks, 12,000 hospital admissions and an additional 550,000 asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.


#2: Coal Kills Jobs

Despite coal industry claims that coal mining creates lots of jobs, the truth is that coal mining employment has been declining for decades, due to increased use of machinery instead of manpower.

In West Virginia alone, coal mining employment has plummeted from 126,000 miners in 1948 (who produced 168 million tons of coal), to just 15,000 miners employed in 2005 (who, with the help of machinery, produced 128 million tons of coal).


#3: Burning Coal Emits Mercury

Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of human-generated mercury pollution in the U.S. Mercury emissions from electrical generation continues to rise.

Mercury in mothers’ blood and breast milk can interfere with the development of babies’ brains and neurological systems and can lead to learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, problems with coordination, lowered IQ and even mental retardation.


#4: Burning Coal is Fuel for Global Warming

The U.S. produces about 25 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Burning coal contributes 40 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions. Coal is the most carbon intensive fossil fuel. According to the United Nations Environment Program, coal emits around 1.7 times as much carbon per unit of energy when burned as does natural gas and 1.25 times as much as oil.


#5: Coal Kills Miners

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 12,000 coal miners died from black lung disease between 1992 and 2002.


#6: Coal Wastes Huge Quantities of Water

Coal mining requires an estimated 70 to 260 million gallons of water every day.


#7: Coal Pollutes Seafood and Freshwater Fish

49 U.S. states have issued fish consumption advisories due to high mercury concentrations in freshwater bodies throughout the country.

Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of human-generated mercury pollution in the U.S.


#8: Coal Destroys Mountains

Instead of traditional mining, many coal companies now use mountaintop removal to extract coal.

Coal companies are increasingly using this method because it allows for almost complete recovery of coal seams while reducing the number of workers required to a fraction of what conventional methods require.

Mountaintop removal involves clear cutting native hardwood forests, using dynamite to blast away as much as 800-1000 feet of mountaintop, and then dumping the waste into nearby valleys, often burying streams.


#9: Coal Kills Freshwater Streams

More than 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams have been buried or damaged by mountaintop removal mining. At least 724 miles of streams were completely buried by valley fills from Appalachian mountaintop removal between 1985 and 2001.

400,000 acres of rich and diverse temperate forests have been destroyed during the same time period as a result of mountaintop mining in Appalachia.


#10: Coal Costs Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies

The U.S. government continues to aggressively fund coal-related projects despite all that is known about coal’s impacts on health, climate and the economy.

The Department of Energy is currently seeking $648 million for “clean coal” projects in its 2009 budget request, “representing the largest budget request for coal RD&D in over 25 years.”


Want to do more?

Check out our section on how you can fight “clean coal” in your community and online.

If not coal, then what?

Check out “There is a Better Way” on how renewable energy technology can power America.

Guest blog from one of my MYSPACE friends

Guest blog from one of my MYSPACE friends,

India Alar Moon

If you listen to my story, it is the gift I have for you. It will show you where you have the power to change things so you can direct your strengths where they will actually benefit your world. How do I know this? I see the vibration of all things and I see where things go from there.

Your environment is already to the point that it can turn on you. How do I know this? I see and hear, so a plant that was kind enough to teach me a lesson because I listen showed this to me. This plant put out a poisonous smell that started very faint and then built up to where it permeated my entire 3600 sq. ft. house to the point that I had to remove it. Plants can change what they put out in the environment, and it does not matter whether you believe me. The truth is the truth whether we want to believe it or not. And it is not my truth, because I don’t particularly want to believe this one. The insects also showed me what your poison is doing to them. They so kindly bit me, and the next day the same poison that came out of the plant came out of my body. And someone else also smelled this smell coming out of my hair. I listen and pay attention. It is not a bad smell – it is a sweet smell, but I recognize smells because I know what my body smells like. I wear no smells other than my own.

This Earth is nothing more than a house for an energy that I call Mother. When the house has been soiled to the point of the ugliness that it has, she will open the doors, move the plates and take not the Human Tribe, but the children that love their Mother and go. The spirit in your food is already leaving – that is why your people look the way they do – sickly.
I know how the battle is fought.

“We of the First Tribe are also known as fierce warriors – the women as well as the men. But our battles are fought a little differently. Our battles do not include the killing of people or plants or animals out of hate, for every life Father God has created is as precious to us as our own. Our battles have to do with the movement of energy and the intent of pure love in the universe…
If we do not all work together as a whole, we cannot move the flow of energy enough to make a difference. The intent is pure and out of love, so we are able to move mountains.” (She Who Remembers, pgs. 43-44)

The reason that your people keep committing the same atrocities upon one another is the same reason that you can allow somebody to pull the darkness out of your soul and lead you to actually commit the act. But once you have the knowledge of where things go and you understand that what you create is actually putting an energy into your world, then you cannot pretend to be ignorant. You make a choice yourself on what you are putting into your environment. Then you take the responsibility for that choice, and you don’t blame it on everything else around you, but you take it on yourself.

There is a Navajo payer that says, “In beauty I walk, Beauty above me, Beauty below me, Beauty all around me.” When you just show pictures of taboos and no solutions of beauty, you are just showing darkness and no light with the dark, and that is what you are creating.
You have the ability to create, and to see what you are creating. Instead of being terrified or ignoring it, you should be totally stoked. Then you can make concise and accurate decisions about the things you are doing in your life. You can take responsibility in this life for the things that you are creating. And then we can clean up this mess, because it is a start.

Come to me and have
a reaching out of mind,
to touch
and come together
in the space of time.
Hear the voice
of the tree and ground,
together they make
perfect harmony,
each with their own sound.
Accept the other as part of each
to be able to teach
how to live
we come to touch.
(India Alar Moon, 1973)

Once you know your job and why you are here, it is your purpose on this planet to do your job to the best of your ability. To say that you do not want this ability to see what you are putting out into your environment is to avoid taking responsibility for your actions. It is not quite so frightening to see and take responsibility for what you are putting into your environment. It is frightening when you have no control of what other people are putting out into your environment, people who do not care.

Help me remove this mountain of Intolerance, Self- indulgence, Self-centeredness, Self-service, Indifference, and Greed.

I AM
India Alar Moon

http://www.myspace.com/inalar

Clean deadline call on coal power

Clean deadline call on coal power

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Protest

E.On’s Kingsnorth plans have led to protests at the existing plant

The government should set a deadline for coal-fired power stations to adopt “clean” technologies or close, according to a parliamentary committee.

The Environment Audit Committee says the government is wrong to believe that a carbon market alone will persuade companies to invest in “clean coal”.

Its report warns that progress in this area is “extremely disappointing”.

A coal-fired station produces about twice as much carbon dioxide as a gas-burning facility of equal power.

The company E.On recently won approval from Medway Council for plans to build new coal-fired plant at Kingsnorth power station in Kent, though a government decision on the project was recently postponed.

Coal should be seen as the last resort, even with the promise of CCS
Committee report

The committee heard evidence that five or six other new coal-burning stations may be built in the UK by 2015.

As gas prices rise, generators are increasingly looking to coal as a cheaper and more reliable alternative.

The UK government believes – as do others – that the answer is “clean coal”, particularly technologies which capture carbon from the flue gases and store it away in natural underground voids, perhaps under the sea bed.

But the technology is expensive and makes a power station less efficient, increasing the amount of fuel burned by 10-40%.

Market constraints

Uncertainties about technical and economic aspects of clean coal mean it can be a “fig leaf”, the committee warns, allowing government to claim it is developing a low-emission energy future when in fact there is no certainty that CCS will be introduced.

“Unless there is a dramatic technological development, coal should be seen as the last resort, even with the promise of carbon capture and storage (CCS),” the report concludes.

The government believes the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will give companies an economic incentive to invest in CCS when the carbon price rises sufficiently.

Oil rig

Statoil’s Sleipner plant is the world’s first commercial carbon burial plant

But the Environment Audit Committee heard Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks admit this may not happen.

“We cannot afford to develop new coal-fired power stations when we have no guarantee about when they will be fitted with CCS, if at all,” said committee chairman Tim Yeo MP.

“It is absolutely crucial for the government to… tell the industry that carbon capture and storage will be required, and that coal-fired power stations will not be permitted to operate unabated.”

The committee says the government must set a date by which companies must have adopted CCS, or face closure of their installations – though it does not suggest which date should be adopted.

Responding to the report, Mr Wicks suggested the EU ETS would be enough to drive investment provided that national caps on emissions are tightened rapidly enough to give carbon a high price.

“The key is to get the level of the cap right,” he said.

“The government supports current proposals for the cap to tighten year on year from 2013 – by 2020, the cap would be 21% below 2005 emission levels.”

The committee also had harsh words for the government’s decision to fund a single CCS demonstration facility when several competing technologies could all benefit from investment.

‘No approvals’

The Royal Society, the UK’s principal scientific academy, endorsed the committee’s call for bold leadership, but said the government “appears paralysed”.

“The solution is straightforward; consent must only be given for new coal-fired power stations on condition that operating permits are withdrawn if the plant fails to capture 90% of its CO2 emissions by 2020,” said the society’s president Martin Rees.

Environment groups which are campaigning against the new Kingsnorth units were more outspoken.

“The government should not be relying on CCS – an unproven technology – to justify new coal power stations,” said Tim Jones, climate policy officer with the World Development Movement.

“If the government goes ahead with new coal power without CCS, it would be setting the UK firmly on the path of high carbon emissions without a clear end in sight.”

Richard.Black-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk