The press coverage of the Tennessee sludge spill has been nothing short of astonishing. Barely a week has passed since the accident and already a Google search for the phrase Tennessee spill produces 2,280,000 results! Compare that to 1,740,000 for Three Mile Island and 708,000 for Exxon Valdez. In little more than a week, this has become one of the biggest environmental stories in recent decades. Obviously, the naked fact of being the biggest coal spill in history (100 times larger than the Valdez spill) is reason itself for the intensity of the coverage. But is it also possible that …
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Ted Nace is the director of CoalSwarm, a collaborative information clearinghouse on U.S. and international coal mines, plants, companies, politics, impacts, and alternatives. He is the author of Climate Hope: On the Front Lines of the Fight Against Coal (CoalSwarm, 2010).