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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shutting down coal



It looks like the coal industry is in trouble. I, for one, won't cry about it.

Coal fired power plants spew pollutants into the air. Anti pollution regulations may shut down many of those plants. Companies are switching to cheaper and cleaner natural gas. While I've some problems with the whole fracking boom, anything that shuts down coal plants can't be all bad.

Why do I hate coal plants so much? A major pollutant belching from the plants is mercury. The poison has found its way into New England waters. Fish carry a heavy mercury load so people have to limit the number they can eat. NH Fish and Game provides a guideline. So much for living off the land. Fish used to provide a lot of the native diet. Now every time a person eats freshwater fish, they ingest a dose of poison.

I don't know how long it will take the earth to heal, or if it ever will completely recover. However, it's not going to get better until the coal plants are either cleaned up or shut down. I'm in favor of a shut down. Companies are all to eager to bypass pollution controls to save a few dollars. The sooner they are gone, the better.

-Sixbears

13 comments:

  1. I understand your feelings, but coming from a coal-producing state, you can probably understand why I feel less strongly about it.We can't eat the fish in our streams either, so something needed to change, but I'm not sure this was the best way to go about it at this time. We now have people in this state with no way to feed their families and our electric bills will be going higher. Considering the state of the economy, it comes at a bad time for West Virginians. Our local plant spent several million just a few years ago on cutting emissions and then Obama raises the bar to where they can't afford to stay in business. I've heard that he worked it so as to mostly just close plants in areas that didn't support him, but I don't know if it's true. Being out of work myself, there's now one less place to apply; that much I know.

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    1. I know those lost jobs are hard and it's not easy to train coal miners to do something else. Jobs are not a good enough excuse anymore. That's what they said about clubbing baby seals. Now those guys are out of work too.

      It's false to say we can have either jobs or a good enviornment. As things are now, we have neither.

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  2. It is possible (apparently) to clean up emissions from coal fired power station. The biggest problem with coal is that China and India have a massive buiding program for coal fired power station, to fuel their economic boom. They don't appear to care about our qualms.

    I won't comment on politics in America. I could comment on the politics here, but that would be detrimental to my blood pressure!

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    1. I know of coal plants in Kentucky that turn off their pollution controls after dark to save money. China and India a building coal plants as fast as they can, and it is a very short sighted policy.

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  3. Well, here soon after the economy collapses all the coal fired plants will be gone dark. Then the coal producing areas will have something which other cold climates don't "HEAT".
    Sure, you might have wood for heating and cooking, but that ever widening circle will get larger year after year until the wood takes more energy than what it produces. Heh, kinda like what it's getting like with oil now...

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    1. Kinda like oil -that's another big story.

      I can heat and cook, sustainably, with wood within walking distance. However, after the collapse, most won't be able to. There are fixes, but no political will.

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  4. It is easier to keep warm (burning wood for instance or putting on extra clothes) than it is to keep cool. In the dry west, evaporator cooling systems work well, but not here near the HUMID Tesas Gulf Coast. Got to have AC.

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    1. Only AC keeps the south livable.

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    2. Strange, only fifty years ago or so folks seemed to be able to survive just fine without AC in the south.
      I do it every year at the start of Archery season when we live in a tent for around a month. This being mid September, a very hot month in Florida. It's all about acclimation and a willingness to freaking sweat ! Just keep adding water and your body has built in AC...we as a whole have gotten to be real pussies where it comes to the natural world !
      Just what are the folks gonna do when the grid goes down ? Hopefully all go north, sure will make this area nice without all them yankees here lol

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    3. They are going to bump into all the people heading south trying not to freeze. :)

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  5. Our counties here in E.KY are going to collapse once they shut the Louisa plant down in early 2015. Besides the mining jobs that will disappear, all the businesses that depend on coal revenue will dry up. And to make matters worse, the Louisa plant produces about 1200 MW; they're replacing it with about 750 MW from W.VA. Rolling blackouts are going to become common during high-usage times, which will deter any business investment in the area (why move a business to a place without reliable electricity?) This area will only be able to support half of our current population under the EPA regulations.

    I'll be the first to agree that the coal barons and their bought politicians are righteous @$$#*!!$. The mining laws are a joke; they're not enforced by anyone, unless someone dies. And then they're only enforced until the media stops looking. But there has to be a better way to end dependence on coal than resorting to collapsing the economy in an entire area of our state.

    (Besides, once they cut off the jobs and the power, all the locals will be reduced to burning coal [which is free and readily available, albeit illegally, along the roadways] in their house stoves, where it will pollute just as much, if not more.)

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    1. I know it's hard. I even know some KY coal miners personally. I really feel for them. However, there's got to be a better way. Coal mining is either a slow or a fast way to die.

      The tall power plant stacks send pollution high into the upper atmosphere. That's how it gets all the way to New England. People burning coal in their home stoves will mostly pollute their local area.

      Coal is a nasty polluting problem. The plants should be shut down. People should be taken care of, but that's Socialism, and we can't have any of that.

      My local economy went to crap when the paper mills shut down. I know what the cost of cleaner air and water can be. I've paid it.

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  6. I'm shocked to find I agree with this. Here in PA we also can't eat the fish due to Mercury poisoning. I never understood where the poison came from but this makes perfect sense. This should never have been allowed to happen in the first place and needs to end. If you're a gang banger should we allow gangs because you need a job. This stuff is killing us slowly and needs to be stopped. I don't know the solution but we need to find one. Doing with a lot less electic is step one. As prices go up we will use less. As prices go up and we use less Solar will become a reality. Six bears can you give an updated run down on your system, what can you run, what is your setup and so on? maybe some pictures too?

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