I thought I was well-informed about the environmental hazards of coal-fired power plants until I read about
a massive flood of toxic coal sludge from a dam that burst at a local coal company’s processing plant in Tennessee yesterday.
The spill covered as many as 400 acres of land with toxic ash as high as six feet deep.
Click the link to see footage of the disaster, and think about sludge containing mercury, arsenic and lead covering hundreds of acres of land and seeping into the water supply.
Matt Stoller called it an “environmental 9/11 in Tennessee” and noted that waters in eastern Kentucky where a similar spill occurred in October 2000 are still unable to support aquatic life. Years later, people in the area do not drink the tap water.
We do not need to build any new coal-fired power plants. On the contrary, we should aggressively promote clean, renewable energy production and conservation measures to reduce future demand for electricity.