The story that isn't being told is that these communitites that have been promised millions of dollars in taxes to enrich their schools, and 100s-1000s of jobs for their families, have been instead poisoned, watched their home values decline dramatically, and their schools and towns become the worst ones in the country. Coal Powered Plants are the single largest sources of the big four pollutants: 35% CO2 carbon dioxide, 37% Hg mercury, 23% of NOx Nitrogen Oxides, and 67% of SO2 sulfur Dioxides. The fact is that these rural peoples are under attack, but it affects ALL Americans. We almost ALL use this coal when we flip on our lights, heat our water, and read our emails. The link on my sidebar will show you how linked you are to mountaintop removal. Distance does not negate responsibility. To top it all off, this "clean coal" technology is untested, and is the "clean coal" plants are receiving air permits to pump out dozens of pounds of mercury into the air. Apparently our children are safe with a little mercury in their lungs and water.
Furthermore, the testing and regulation is often overlooked in our rural areas. I can attest to how under regulated this area actually is! My husband used to monitor ground water for gas stations and other petroleum sites to make sure they were up to federal code. When we decided to move our family to this area for the opportunity it gave us for sustainability and simplicity of life, he had an interview for a similar job, and we assumed that he would be able to find another job in this specialized area. After all, these are FEDERAL regulations. Unfortunately, the truth is that no one regulates this area, so no one complies. No regulation means no one is paying for monitoring, because they don't need to be accountable. This is notoriously true as well for these coal companies.
This is such an important topic, and our political system is stifling this extremely important issue, so we can sling mud about candidates, their misspeaks, and their personal lives. I challenge you all to take the pledge to end mountaintop removal. Blog about it, spread the word, and make it an issue you care about. I don't like either of our choices. I do believe I am voting for a third party this year.....
Below are some websites, and well written essays on the environmental plight connected to coal. Read them, and be outraged.