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Author Topic: Coal and its effects  (Read 448 times)

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Offline seicer

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Coal and its effects
« on: December 02, 2008, 06:07:37 AM »
I'd like for this thread to be devoted to coal companies and related topics, including mountain top mining, strip mining, and coal-fired power plants. From yesterday's Charleston Gazette --

U.S. Supreme Court unanimously turned down Massey Energy Company's challenge to a verdict that allotted Wheeling-Pittsburg Steel Company $119.8 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages, today totaling $250 million due to interest. Sorry Massey, you can't buy out all of the courts.

U.S. Supreme Court declines W.Va. coal dispute
Charleston Gazette, December 1, 2008

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to enter a politically charged case from West Virginia involving a large punitive damages award and allegations of bias by a state judge.

In an order today, the justices turned down coal giant Massey Energy Co.'s challenge to a $260 million jury verdict -- including $100 million in punitive damages -- in a contract dispute with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Co.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 08:31:14 AM by ColDayMan »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 10:20:49 PM »
The good and the bad. The bad first.

Activists slam EPA mining rule change, urge reversal
By Vicki Smith, AP, December 4, 2008

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Angry environmentalists launched an online campaign Wednesday urging President-elect Barack Obama to undo a federal rule that clarifies when coal companies can dump mining waste in streams, calling it a long-awaited "parting gift" from the Bush administration.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:21:38 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 10:26:03 PM »
I've known this was coming for a while. While the BofA may not have financed a lot of mountaintop removal projects, it's announcement as part of its green initiative (remember, they also fund a LOT of historic preservation projects) is already sending messages to other banks that... you too can join in on this and make a difference and change.

It's clear (from the above post) that legislation at the federal level won't stop mountaintop removal, or the nasty side effects. Coal companies are now free to completely fill up valleys and mountain streams with little regard for the environment -- and this just legalizes it; it was rarely, if ever enforced before. Many states, such as Kentucky, are in disbelief over the recent EPA ruling (Governor Beshear and Strickland condemned the ruling). So what's left? The financing!

Remember that BofA was part of a larger pact on this. Watch for other firms to potentially follow suit.

Bank of America to stop financing mountaintop removal
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 5, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - One of the world's largest financial institutions said this week it will phase out lending money to coal operators that use mountaintop removal mining.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:22:02 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2008, 10:27:49 PM »
See the above two articles before this.

Industry calls Bank of America coal policy PR ploy
By Vicki Smith, AP, December 5, 2008

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Bank of America says it will phase out financing of coal companies that predominantly use destructive mountaintop removal mining practices, citing concern for the environment. But the policy, buried in the company's Web site this week and barely acknowledged by its public relations department, may be little more than show.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:22:22 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 10:54:37 AM »
Bank halts lending to coal companies that engage in mountaintop removal
Posted December 8, 2008 at American Byways by Sherman Cahal

On November 4, Bank of America announced that it would halt financing mountaintop removal projects amid pressure from the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Rainforest Action Network flew banking executives over mountaintop removal sites earlier in the year, to showcase just what their financing was providing: cheap coal at a steep price.

It was reported that several of the executives were shocked in disbelief. Portrayed as a cheaper, safer alternative to underground mining, the coal industry has played the effects of mountaintop removal as minor, stating that the reclaimed sites were "good for bugs" and that they were thriving.

For point, check out the following commercials:





They really play on the lower denominator of intelligence, to those who are gullible enough to actually take the advertisements with a grain of salt.

Of course, the halt in financing by Bank of America has made several coal operators jittery about financing. Earlier this year, three investment banks announced new non-binding environmental standards to help lenders evaluate risks associated with investments in coal-fired power plants. Of course, coal companies state it is a public relations ploy.

The news came immediately after the "Environmental" Protection Agency legalized the dumping of waste and mountain spoil into valleys. While this has occurred for decades with little penalty, this only gives the coal industry further credit for their destructive practices. Another lasting legacy of George Bush!

In other news, hstoric Tater Knob Fire Tower near Zilpo in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky was badly damaged by arson. It remained the only former fire tower open to the public in the state.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 10:56:07 AM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 10:21:40 PM »
Report: Wind project better than strip mining
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 9, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A wind-power production facility along the ridges of Coal River Mountain would provide more jobs and tax revenues than a mountaintop removal operation planned by Massey Energy, according to a new economic impact report released today.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:22:55 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 10:22:28 PM »
Manchin: Coal remains energy 'cornerstone'
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 9, 2008

ROANOKE, W. Va. -- Gov. Joe Manchin said Tuesday that he opposes President-elect Barack Obama's plan to cap greenhouse gas emissions to try to curb global warming.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:23:06 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 10:23:39 PM »
I've posted three articles today on coal in West Virginia. Well worth the read.

BREAKING NEWS: Manchin announces plan for $3 billion coal-to-gas liquids plant in W.Va.
By George Hohmann, Charleston Daily Mail, December 9, 2008

ROANOKE, W.Va. -- Gov. Joe Manchin and Adam Victor, president of TransGas Development Systems of New York City, today announced the company's plan to build a $3 billion coal-to-gas liquids plant in Mingo County.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:23:17 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 07:12:32 PM »
Note: This is the latest in a series of coal-to-liquid projects proposed for the Mid-Atlantic. A massive coal-to-liquids project in southern Indiana -- on this scale, was just canceled on November 25, 2008. Many coal fired power plants are in limbo due to CO2 emissions -- more than half that was planned have been shelved indefinitely, and half of those that still remain could be shelved if financing does not come through for 2009. Consol's coal-to-liquid project died in northern West Virginia on October 24, 2008, as the primary backer bolted for greener pastures. The developer of the plant, Synthesis Energy Systems, stated that it would build plant in China with little to no regulatory oversight.

Coal plant emissions in question
$3 billion Mingo project leaves greenhouse gas plans unclear
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 10, 2008

ROANOKE, W.Va. - A New York firm wants to build a $3 billion coal-to-liquids plant in Mingo County, but has not yet come up with a firm plan to control the facility's carbon dioxide emissions.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:23:28 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2008, 05:49:00 AM »
Groups sue for coal plant compliance
Suit seeks cuts in toxic emissions by power plants
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 20, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit trying to force the federal government to comply with a 6-year-old mandate to reduce toxic chemical emissions from coal-fired power plants.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:23:40 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 05:53:08 AM »
Coal River mine permit challenge by wind proponents
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 19, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Environmental groups said Thursday they are appealing the Manchin administration's approval of a key permit change for a Massey Energy strip mine at a site where citizen groups are promoting alternative plans for a wind-energy facility.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:23:51 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2008, 05:53:32 AM »


Flood of sludge breaks TVA dike
Collapse poses risk of toxic ash
By Anne Paine and Colby Sledge, The Tennessean, December 23, 2008

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Millions of cubic yards of ashy sludge broke through a dike at TVA's Kingston coal-fired plant Monday, covering hundreds of acres, knocking one home off its foundation and putting environmentalists on edge about toxic chemicals that may be seeping into the ground and flowing downriver.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:24:35 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline oakiehigh

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2008, 05:58:59 AM »
^SO sad!

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2008, 06:02:19 AM »
Kentucky is not new to this. There was a massive slurry spill in Martin County in October 2000, which released 300 millions of thick slurry that flooded miles of creeks that eventually reached the Big Sandy and Ohio Rivers -- literally turning them into black, thick cesspools that killed all aquatic life. Cleanup was funded entirely by the state, despite lawsuits.

Tennessee slurry spill brings calls for emergency plans in Kentucky
By Cassondra Kirby Mullins, Herald Leader, December 23, 2008

A day after a massive coal sludge break in Tennessee covered hundreds of acres in ashy waste, Kentucky environmentalists and leaders said they will continue pushing for legislation to require emergency action plans in case of similar failures in the Commonwealth.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:24:47 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2008, 06:08:23 AM »
Read above for two articles on yesterday's massive toxic ash spill.

Current policy says land within 100 feet of a stream cannot be disturbed by mining unless a company can prove it will not affect the water's quality and quantity. The new regulation would allow mining that would alter a stream's flow as long as any damage to the environment is repaired later. As if.

New mountaintop mining rule leads to suit
By Jesse J. Holland, AP, December 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — Environmentalists sued the Bush administration on Monday, trying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from changing a rule that they say keeps mining waste from entering mountain streams.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:25:03 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2008, 10:11:10 PM »
Finally, at least some justice for coal miners! Too bad that penalties for other violations, including the disastrous Sago mine, were far too lenient. At least they are now focusing their efforts on going after the managers of the mine.

Aracoma assessed record fine
Two died in 2006 fire; company admits to escape-route failures
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 24, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Massey Energy subsidiary has admitted to criminal safety violations that caused the deaths of two Logan County coal miners in a January 2006 fire, federal prosecutors revealed Tuesday.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:25:15 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2008, 09:00:42 AM »
TVA head pledges to test wells near coal ash spill
By Kristin M. Hall, AP, December 29, 2008

KINGSTON, Tenn. — The chief executive officer and president of the nation's largest public utility promised Sunday to address the health and safety concerns of a community near a major coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:25:33 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2008, 09:02:09 AM »
I thought the TVA said the water was safe!???? (see last post)

Tenn. well water might be unsafe
By Kristin M. Hall, AP, December 30, 2008

KINGSTON, Tenn. — Some water samples near a massive spill of coal ash in eastern Tennessee are showing high levels of arsenic, and state and federal officials on Monday cautioned residents who use private wells or springs to stop drinking the water.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:25:43 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2009, 06:34:31 AM »
Community's future clouded by sludge spill
By Beth Rucker, AP, January 2, 2008

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Tom Grizzard wonders what the future holds for a spot that once seemed the perfect place to live. His pastoral enclave boasted vistas of tree-covered hills, glimpses of the Emory River and access to fishing holes and hunting havens.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:25:55 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2009, 06:35:41 AM »
Metal levels found high in tributary after spill
By Shaila Dewan, New York Times, January 2, 2008

An environmental advocacy group's tests of river water and ash near the site of a massive coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee showed levels of arsenic, lead, chromium and other metals two to 300 times higher than drinking water standards, the group said Thursday.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:26:20 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2009, 03:05:13 PM »
The TVA controversy continues.

TVA inspector: Business came before ethics
AP, January 5, 2009

KINGSTON, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority's inspector general said in a report that agency managers placed business interests above regulatory compliance after a plant incident in Alabama.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:26:35 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2009, 06:58:12 PM »
Congress chastises TVA over toxic spill
By Halimah Abdullah, Herald-Leader, January 8, 2009

WASHINGTON—Senators from both sides of the aisle took the Tennessee Valley Authority to task during a congressional hearing Thursday into the TVA's handling of last month's spill of 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge in Tennessee.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:26:44 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2009, 08:25:51 PM »
Wind project triggers defense of coal by Raleigh commissioner
By Mannix Porterfield, Register-Herald, January 6, 2009

A proposed wind project on Coal Mountain as an alternative to mountaintop mining triggered a defense Tuesday of the coal industry in general by a Raleigh County commissioner.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:26:54 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2009, 08:56:21 PM »
I'll be mapping the coal sludge spill in Tennessee tomorrow, I'll try to snap some pics.

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2009, 09:02:25 PM »
Be careful. I had some friends who were arrested by the TVA for photographing a public waterway and of the spill. Their camera was confiscated, and all images wiped. They were released, but they are planning a lawsuit against the TVA.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 09:02:40 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2009, 09:45:57 PM »
Thanks for the warning, I'll be snapping the pics from the air though.

Offline Robert Pence

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2009, 05:09:45 AM »
Be careful. I had some friends who were arrested by the TVA for photographing a public waterway and of the spill. Their camera was confiscated, and all images wiped. They were released, but they are planning a lawsuit against the TVA.

That sounds like they clearly have grounds for a lawsuit, and the people who confiscated their camera might even be subject to prosecution. Requiring someone to delete images is a gray area, but I think the law is clear about taking possession of property without a warrant; they can't take physical control of your camera or memory card.

Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2009, 08:26:44 PM »
Here are the pics I got. The river was muddied for a good 6-8 miles downstream.















Offline C-Dawg Njaim

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2009, 09:30:40 PM »
Oh, what a sick mess. Our poor environment.  :cry:
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 09:30:51 PM by C-Dawg Njaim »

Offline seicer

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2009, 07:14:04 PM »
TVA should return to its roots
AGENCY THAT MADE A LONG TREK FROM SAVIOR TO OUTLAW NEEDS NEW PURPOSE
By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader columnist, January 11, 2009

The Tennessee Valley Authority was one of the grandest experiments of the New Deal.

It was conceived as a federal corporation that could use the power of government and the flexibility of business to improve life in a seven-state region that included parts of Kentucky. TVA also was to be a "living laboratory" for progress.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:27:09 PM by Sherman Cahal »