What bugs me much more than dealing with smoke in the sky from old technologies such as coal is the smoke in our eyes from arrogant politicians and execs that assume we are naive.
“Clean Coal” was bundled into a package of bumper stickers during the McCain-Palin campaign, paraded as a moral and strategic initiative that required loose government and loose controls to protect us from desert empires. Winking for votes.
Dusty business plans were re-circulated as if Sarah Palin would or could create Bulwark America, as if Alaska drains its one year of crude to be followed by so-called clean coal from the Prairies to Virginia. How many bought this capricious junk? Too many.
For one example of hundreds, NV Energy, Inc. will not move forward “until the technologies that will capture and store greenhouse gas are commercially feasible, which is not likely before the end of the next decade.”
There will not be 100, 200, 300 new coal-fired power plants. American Electric Power projects have been placed on hold. AES Corporation with almost $14 billion in revenues will withdraw applications to build coal-fired power plants as Obama’s EPA has effectively put a moratorium on all coal-fired plant projects in order to confront CO2.
China has erected several hundred new coal plants. Many Americans should worry. The particulates are carried eastward over North America. Made darker by pollutants, dirty ice melts faster, exposing tundra and putting us at risk of atmospheric methane. The ash by-product from burning coal for power contains up to 100 times more radiation than nuclear waste. And we haven’t truly understood the damage that fine particulates can cause in our bodies.
Whether or not flue scrubbing or hi-tech burn become effective, the coal industry has much to answer for. The Clean Air Act has been gutted, especially under Bush, but recently set new targets to reduce particulates.
We no longer spill solvents into rivers. Diesel soot is finally under regulation. It’s time we notice that tiny particles are potentially dangerous and too common.
Incidentally, did you know that almost one third of laser printers emit large numbers of ultrafine particles that can penetrate deep into our lungs.
‘lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine dust’.