Predictions that environmental rules would devastate coal plant were completely wrong

No Gravatar

When it was announced three years ago that a coal-fire power plant in Pennsylvania would have to reduce its output of pollution into the air, the anti-environment crowd and operators of the plant cried that there would be horrible consequences.

None of it happened; the predictions were wrong and now we have more proof that environmental regulations can protect us, without shutting down local economies or the national economy.

Sure, there are upfront costs. But then again, in many cases we’re talking about companies that pay CEO’s massive salaries each year. A report just came out noting the median CEO pay in the US has topped $10 million per year. (Note that is the MEDIAN annual paycheck.)

It’s like Donald Sterling, who is crying about the millions he will have to pay in capital gains tax if he sells the LA Clippers – for over a billion dollars – some reports suggest $2 billion.

Boo hoo hoo. Cry me an ocean. Poor little fella. He might ONLY profit in the hundreds of millions of dollars or maybe exceeding a billion. These people are so far removed from the rest of the population, they must have nose bleeds while looking over their portfolios, bank accounts and stock holdings.

So in getting back to the coal-fired plant, the Associated Press reports

GE Energy Financial Services, the plant’s majority owner, now says it can do it — and without electricity bills increasing for the two million households it provides with power.

And guess what. People are being employed to make the upgrades.

The article does note another company filed for bankruptcy this year, when faced with having to put in place protections for the local environment. But we don’t know the underlying details about this case.

If the Pennsylvania plant can do it, why not others. That facility will invest $750 million in protecting the people. The article explains how important the move is:

Last year, the facility, released 114,245 tons of sulfur dioxide, more than all of the power plants in neighboring New York combined.

Suggesting a company’s profits are more important than protecting the lives of citizens is more than clueless and wacky. We’ve known about the devastating impacts of pollution on our air, water and ground for decades. Companies should have been spreading out their investments in protecting the public for decades. Then, the financial impacts would not have been so large in one chunk.

But instead, too many industries have poured untold millions each year into campaign donations to elect anti-environment candidates. That money could have been used to protect the environment. It’s a really moronic way to go about polluting and putting the public health at risk.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Game On – Beer drinkers vs. the Fracking Industry

No Gravatar

I don’t drink any sort of alcoholic beverages at all, but a lot of people do – a lot of people. And certainly there are tons of beer drinkers in the United States.

An article on Grist.org hit the Pack News Wire this morning, concerning the concern that beer makers in New York State have over the pollution of groundwater by the practice of natural gas fracking. I’m hoping that when beer drinkers are pitted against BIG GAS, we’ll finally see some action. And the one thing that might negatively impact a massive group of politicians is taking away their drunk sessions at fancy parties.

As it stands now, very little is standing in the way of BIG GAS or BIG COAL, in their mission of destroy mountains and suck the life out of the environment. BIG GAS does not even want to wait for the development of any, possibly-safer drilling methods or for studies to be completed on the full and long-term impacts of fracking.

There are people in this country who don’t care how much big industry pollutes the land, air and water. These people believe corporate profits should always be held in higher standing than the health and welfare of our children and their future. And these same people certainly don’t give a hoot about the impacts on wildlife and their habitat.

But now – maybe – it’s game on … Fracking vs. Beer.

 

Salazar to step down as Secretary of Interior

No Gravatar

I just received a press release from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, concerning the resignation of Ken Salazar, as the Secretary of the US Interior Department.

I was not a supporter of Salazar for this position and over his term, I felt he leaned far too much on the side of industry and development. He was not supportive enough on protections for wildlife and habitat.

We have seen the continued complete destruction of beautiful mountain ranges in the Appalachians by the coal industry and ongoing fracking, without complete studies on its impacts. People still try to defend fracking. But no one can on any level defend blowing up mountains, while filling in beautiful mountain streams. It’s all in the name of lining the pockets of a few CEOs. Where has Salazar been on this?

This video shows how Salazar completely rejected a question about moving away from the destructive way coal is mined in Kentucky.

The Guardian reported in 2011 on Salazar’s announcement on the expansion of coal mining. This has happened while some politicians claim the administration is blocking coal and natural gas development. The facts tell a much different story.

So now, let’s hope the President appoints someone who swings the needle back to wildlife and our forests, mountains and wetlands. The lack of real protections for the environment and wildlife has gone on far too long.

Be that as it is, I have posted below the full release from FWS. It does list a number of accomplishments for the department under Salazar.

Continue reading

West Virginia Mountain Party candidate speaking out against Big Coal

No Gravatar

The terrible tragedy being inflicted on wildlife and people that is mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian Mountains has one key opponent running for governor in West Virginia. Dr. Bob Henry Baber is fighting an uphill battle against big money, Big Coal and both the Democrat and Republican parties.

An interview Jeff Bigger conducted with Baber was published recently on the Huffington Post website. The following is an important quote from that piece:

“” If we had a real Environmental Protection Agency, mountaintop removal would never have come into existence. It is the insane monster of collective corporate greed and our culture’s voracious appetite for electricity. The environmentalists are absolutely right. We should cease and desist immediately, period! “”

I could not agree more.