Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Coal

Comments

In Chicago, coal is the real crime

Greenpeace activists climbed the smokestack at the Fisk coal plant.Photo: GreenpeaceA sad fact of living in an American city like Chicago is that every time we open a newspaper or switch on the local news, we hear of some senseless, tragic crime that has claimed an innocent life. We become outraged, and we demand justice for those who have lost their children, their parents, their siblings or spouses. In 1982, Chicago acted to stem the tide of gun-related violence when confronted with a disturbing rise in homicides. In fact, between 1980 and 2006, some 32,300 Americans died every year due …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

Comments

Flashback: In 2003, Romney attacked coal jobs that ‘kill people’

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, like his fellow GOP contenders, supports unlimited coal and oil production and opposes cap-and-trade markets to limit greenhouse pollution. Romney calls cap-and-trade a "radical feel-good" policy that would have "devastating results for people across the planet." Last month, he told Fox News that the nation needed to "start drilling for oil" and to "use our coal resources" because "you have to have oil and gas to power America's economy." But according to his standards, Romney himself used to be a "radical" environmentalist who supported clean energy policy and opposed a pollution-backed …

Comments

It’s official: Massey’s negligence killed 29 miners

A year after the deadly blast at the Massey-owned Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, it's official: The disaster was Massey's fault. I'm not sure what the team of independent investigators thought they were going to find -- vengeful sprites? A cursed sarcophagus? Workers deliberately blowing themselves up for funsies? -- but they found what we all expected: The company's negligence was responsible for the deaths of 29 miners. The report calls Massey's safety practices "profoundly reckless," and says that "The story of Upper Big Branch is a cautionary tale of hubris." That's pretty damning, especially for an investigative …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

Comments

West Virginia’s new coal-to-gasoline plant will produce dirtiest fuel known to humanity

Well hello there, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin! The last time we checked in with you, you were literally putting a bullet into climate change legislation. And today you're celebrating the opening of a new plant that will turn coal into gasoline, which is pretty much the single worst possible technology we could pursue if we want to preserve a livable climate. Manchin claims the new plant will use technology that is "cutting edge," which is true if by that he means "cutting-edge about 70 years ago when the Nazis used it to fuel their Kriegsmaschine." Back then, a little …

Comments

Scholastic’s pro-coal curriculum pulled from schools

Scholastic, the children's book publisher, took a big pile of money from the American Coal Foundation and turned it into a curriculum for 4th graders that (surprise!) didn't mention any of the drawbacks of coal. Now Scholastic is all sorry it pimped out America's kids to the industry that quite possibly cares least about their future. Or at least, it’s sorry it got caught. So the good news is that Scholastic won't be passing out copies of its pro-coal curriculum, and also the American Coal Foundation comes out looking like the cynical disinformers at the Tobacco Institute, just like always. …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

Comments

Will Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s new mayor, deal with the city’s coal pollution problem?

Will new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel get tough on coal?Photo: Daniel X. O'NeillChicago has a major coal problem. The city's Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants, which have been operating for nearly 100 years and were rebuilt more than 40 years ago, were grandfathered in under the 1970 Clean Air Act amendments. The assumption at the time was that these plants would be shutting down within a few years since they were already so old. Needless to say, that hasn't happened -- yet. Some key facts about the Fisk and Crawford plants: These are the only large coal plants in …

Comments

Booming U.S. coal exports forebode a coal-fired 21st century

If you thought America didn't make anything anymore, you're wrong! We make disastrous, planet-killing levels of climate change. It's all a consequence of the record 100 million tons of coal we're going to export all over the world this year, much of it to Asia. Even as one out of 10 gigawatts of U.S. coal-fired power is slated to shut down in the next decade (35 gigawatts), seven times as much coal-fired power is under construction worldwide (249 gigawatts). Since the carbon balance sheet is global, it's fair to say these numbers augur a global failure to control the worst …

Comments

CoalCares responds to Peabody legal threat

As you probably know, the Yes Lab (home of the Yes Men) recently put up a site called CoalCares.com, a parody suggesting that coal company Peabody is interested in doing something about the health impacts of coal on children. (How dare they!) Peabody responded, predictably, by threatening a lawsuit. Here's the letter the Yes Lab just sent in return: Dear Andrew Baum, Foley Lardner LLP, and Peabody Energy, Thank you for your thoughtful letter demanding that we remove Peabody’s name from http://www.coalcares.org and cease falsely suggesting that Peabody cares about kids made sick by coal. Your threat, although entirely baseless …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

Comments

Peabody Coal’s new site is too awful to be believed, but some of you believed it anyway

Hey, did you hear about Peabody Coal's unconscionable new site, Coalcares.org? They're offering free Dora the Explorer and Justin Bieber-branded inhalers to kids living near coal plants! They have a "Kidz Koal Korner" with these cartoon characters called "Puff" and "Ash," and they say clean energy will kill you, and they want to make kids think asthma is cool because coal pollution causes asthma! It's like something out of the Onion! It almost reads like a spoof site! It ... oh. Yeah, if you retweeted an angry tweet or signed a hasty petition (ETA: Which was apparently part of the hoax, …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

Comments

Is there a toxic mercury hot spot near you?

Chances are you're near one.Image: Sierra Club/Google MapsDo you live around Clearfield, Penn.? The Shawville coal-fired power plant is spewing more than 1,500 pounds of toxic mercury into your air and water every year. Live near St. Louis? The Labadie coal-fired power plant emits more than 1,400 pounds of mercury every year. And if you live near Bismarck, N.D. -- you have two coal-fired power plants near you (Milton Young and Coal Creek) that emit a combined 1,700 pounds of mercury into your environment annually. Unfortunately, the list of mercury and other toxin-spewing coal plants is long, but now you …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal