As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, January 09, 2009

Look At That, Another Horrible Spill Of An Unregulated Coal Ash Dump!

On the same day that the Senate holds an oversight hearing on the terrible fly ash spill in Tennessee, we have another spill in Alabama.

TVA is investigating a leak from a gypsum pond at its Widows Creek coal-burning power plant in northeastern Alabama, a spokesman said at about 10:45 a.m. Central Time.

The leak, discovered before 6 a.m. has been stopped, according to John Moulton, with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

We've heard that before in these cases. The problem is that it leaked at all, and that it's seemingly nobody's responsibility.

Not to mention leak #3:

Efforts to repair one of a series of dams on the [Ocoee] river released sediment into the rocky channel … a section of the Ocoee River Gorge — a world-renowned location for whitewater sports and site of Olympic competition during the 1996 Atlanta games — was about half-filled with black, foul-smelling muck,

“It’s inexcusable. If that had happened during the summer when the river was full of people that could have been a real disaster.”

Yeah. Could have been. As if it isn't now.

Sen. Boxer called for the EPA to regulate this waste so that Big Coal cannot escape its responsibilities anymore.

For nearly three decades, EPA has been looking at the issue of how to regulate combustion waste. The federal government has the power to regulate these wastes, and inaction has allowed this enormous volume of toxic material to go largely unregulated. State efforts are very inconsistent, and as more and more toxic material is removed from coal combustion, it is critically important that protective standards for coal ash waste be established.

I intend to work with the incoming Obama Administration to ensure that the necessary action is taken to protect our public health and the environment.

The disaster in Tennessee proves the point that we cannot avoid the costs associated with managing coal ash, and that it is far better to invest in preventing disasters like this than spending even more to clean them up.

More significantly, Lamar Alexander, the Republican from Tennessee, called coal "a dirty business". A Democrat is a Republican who's had millions of gallons of crap tossed into his state's rivers.

No. More. Coal.

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