Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Huge Clean Air Victory! | End of the Coal Era Near | Mountaintop Removal


Huge Clean Air Victory! The End of the Coal Era is Near

Since 2010, the Beyond Coal campaign has secured plans for retirements from more than 100 coal plants and clean energy sources like wind and solar are rapidly taking their place.

We couldn't have done it without your support!

Help us continue the momentum. Share the huge news on your social network highlighting the story of the End of Coal Era and invite your friends and family to join the grassroots movement for a clean energy future!

> Act now to move beyond coal | Beyond Coal

Beyond Coal | Sierra Club Home Page: Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

about Beyond Coal

In 2002, we got word that then-Vice President Dick Cheney was holding secret backroom meetings with the coal industry to plan a new “Coal Rush” — a massive effort to build over 150 new coal-fired power plants across the country.

Coal plants last only about 50 years, and since it was clear that the country’s aging fleet of dirty power plants would soon be retired, industry lobbyists wanted to lock-in our nation’s reliance on coal before solar, wind, and clean power would have a chance to step in.

This made no sense to us — coal is an outdated, backward, 19th-century technology. It’s the single biggest source of global-warming and mercury pollution, and it causes hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks every year. In my home region of Appalachia, mountaintop-removal coal-mining operations have blown up 500 mountains, buried 2,000 miles of streams, and turned small towns into ghost towns. Why would we want to lock ourselves in to a future of dirty energy — especially just as new technologies and innovation are making solar and wind cheaper?

more > Beyond Coal

Factsheets & Resources

Factsheet: The Dirty Truth about Coal -
Why Yesterday's Technology Should Not Be Part of Tomorrow's Energy Future

CARMA Blog - About CARMA: At its core, Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) is a massive database containing information on the carbon emissions of over 50,000 power plants and 4,000 power companies worldwide. Power generation accounts for 40% of all carbon emissions in the United States and about one-quarter of global emissions. CARMA is the first global inventory of a major, emissions-producing sector of the economy.

CARMA is produced and financed by the Confronting Climate Change Initiative at the Center for Global Development, an independent and non-partisan think tank located in Washington, DC.

CARMA - Carbon Monitoring for Action: Highest CO2 Emitting Power Plants in the World

Mountaintop Removal Mining

In Appalachia, mining companies blow the tops off mountains to reach a thin seam of coal. They then dump millions of tons of rubble and toxic waste into the streams and valleys below the mining sites.

This destructive practice, known as mountaintop-removal mining, has damaged or destroyed nearly 2,000 miles of streams and threatens to destroy 1.4 million acres of mountaintops and forests by 2020. The mining poisons drinking water, destroys beautiful forests and wildlife habitat, increases the risk of flooding and wipes out entire communities.

Who Gets Hurt

Mountaintop removal pollutes waterways and allows toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, selenium, and arsenic to leach into local water supplies -- the same water that Appalachia's people rely on. But the danger isn't limited to drinking water; mountaintop removal also causes air pollution that affects communities for miles around. Many of the toxins that pollute mountaintop-removal sites are carcinogens, and cancer rates are twice as high for people who live near mountaintop-removal sites.

The Future of Mountaintop Removal

Ending mountaintop-removal mining and transitioning to clean energy will benefit Appalachia by creating good jobs in the clean-energy and tourism industries and by improving public health.

The EPA is evaluating the practice of mountaintop-removal mining and has slowed the permitting process for new mountaintop-removal sites. However, sites with existing permits continue to destroy Appalachian mountains, pollute waterways, and make people sick. You can get involved in the effort to stop mountaintop removal now and ensure protection for Appalachia and the families who call its mountains home.

Mountaintop Removal Mining | Beyond Coal

Mountaintop removal mining - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mountaintop removal mining (MTR), is a form of surface mining that involves the mining of the summit or summit ridge of a mountain. (Coal industry proponents often refer to MTR as mountaintop mining [MTM][1].) Entire coal seams are removed from the top of a mountain, hill or ridge by removing the overburden above them, and restacking the overburden back on the ridge to refect the approximate original contour of the mountain.[2] The excess amounts of overburden that can not be placed on the ridge top is moved into neighboring valleys.[3] It is most closely associated with coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. The process involves blasting with explosives to remove up to 400 vertical feet (120 m) of mountain to expose underlying coal seams. Excess rock and soil laden with toxic mining byproducts are often dumped into nearby valleys, in what are called "holler fills" or "valley fills."[4][5][6]
Peer-reviewed studies show that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts, including loss of biodiversity, that mitigation practices cannot successfully address.[7] There are also adverse human health impacts which result from contact with affected streams or exposure to airborne toxins and dust.[7]

misc images from the web -- End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Mountain Justice

Learn about and take action against the destructive effects of the dirty life-cycles of coal and natural gas!

Why Mountain Justice?
- Mountain Justice is both a call to action and a request for help from the people of the Appalachian mountains. We seek to save our mountains, streams and forest from greedy coal companies. Why are we asking for help?

Over 1200 miles of streams have been buried and destroyed and countless mountains and ridge tops have been blown up–gone for all eternity. The Bush administration has altered laws to encourage and accelerate the destruction. The price of coal has doubled and the destruction of our watersheds is accelerating and spreading out like cancer. Our state and federal agencies charged with protecting our environment are liquidating our mountains.

We are losing. Our loss is not only for our own generation–but for future generations. Where there once were water producing mountains - now there are barren scraped-biologically-dead toxic wastelands. Water is going to be more important to future generations than coal. You cannot drink coal. The Pentagon has predicted than many of the future wars on our planet will not be fought over coal or oil–but for water. The lack of clean drinking water is already a global problem for humanity - as our population increases it will only get worse. The destruction of water producing mountains is not only a crime of the present–it is a very real attack on the future generations.

We cannot afford to continue losing this struggle. A few already rich coal company executives are getting wealthier at the expense of us all. The acceleration of mountain top, side and ridge removal is a curse on the future and present generations. We need your help.

We can use anything you are able to offer. If you would like to come and defend the mountains with us, please join us! To learn what we've been up to, look at our previous actions. To learn more about mountaintop removal, just look at the facts.

Mountain Justice

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