Yet another reason to oppose new coal-fired power plants in Iowa

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.

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Sign this petition against new coal-fired plants in Iowa

The Sierra Club has created an online petition for Iowans, urging energy providers to invest in clean sources for electricity generation, not coal:

Coal is keeping us from moving to a new clean energy economy. To keep our utility prices low, our local energy providers need to move beyond coal and start meeting our electricity needs via clean, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass.

Sign on to the online petition today to voice your support for an end to coal and the start of green jobs and better health. We will be delivering the petition directly to energy providers across the state.  

Petition to Energy Providers:

I urge my local power provider to reallocate any proposed investment in coal into clean, safe, renewable energy sources and efficiency measures that will provide real consumer relief and a clean environment for generations to come.

We need to break our addiction to fossil fuels and shift to clean energy and efficiency programs that can meet energy demand and stimulate our local economy.

An investment in coal is a large step backwards. I do not support investing in a dirty fuel source that will drive up costs and increase my utility bill.

We need sensible energy solutions now, and real investment in energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy to take our state smartly into the future.

Energy experts agree with Al Gore: we don’t need to build any new coal-fired power plants to meet demand for electricity. Not in Marshalltown or Waterloo or anywhere else in Iowa.

Utilities could be doing much more to implement energy-efficiency measures.

Not only is every new coal-fired power plant a 50-year investment in the wrong direction, consumers will end up paying more for electricity from new power plants.

Also, coal-fired plants are a leading source of deadly fine particulate pollution and mercury pollution.

You can read more reasons to support clean energy production over new investment in coal and other fossil fuels on the websites of the Iowa Environmental Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Please sign the petition and forward the link to your like-minded friends.

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