Coal, not so clean after all.
Parts of Tennessee remain buried under toxic sludge today after a major disaster at a coal plant. A forty-acre pond containing toxic coal ash has collapsed, spilling out millions of gallons of coal ash. Environmentalists say the spill is more than thirty times larger than the Exxon Valdez, but the story has received little national attention.
And what exactly makes coal ash so toxic:
RICK HIND: Well, youâ€™re talking about heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, and all of these metals are actually bioaccumulate in the environment. You saw picturesâ€”in fact, if you go to The Tennessean website or the TVA website, youâ€™ll see just these amazing aerial and on-site photographs of the damage. It reminds me of a volcanic eruption, if you remember the mudslides from Mount St. Helens. Itâ€™s just uprooting and moving houses off their foundations. As you said, sludge piling up six feet high, 400 acres covered, as well as fish kills. And now, much of that slug of toxicity, the heavy metals, mercury, for example, can bioaccumulate in fish 60,000 times. So you could see long-term damage from this particular disaster, as well as any leakage thatâ€™s been going on.
Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re calling for a criminal investigation, because really under the Clean Water Act, thereâ€™s supposed to be a contingency plan that anticipates this and prevents this kind of disaster. What happened here could happen again right on site at several other of the ponds still holding this toxic sludge. And every other coal plant in the country has a similar problem.
Immediate government investment is needed to jump start economic recovery and speed the arrival of an economy powered with clean and secure sources of energy. The U.S. cannot count on future economic growth unless the federal government moves ahead now with the important structural transformations necessary for a low-carbon economy.
I am absolutely fed up with the U.S. auto industry and the pig-headed brain trust running the show.
Let me get this straight.
The taxpayers need to bailout Detroit after The Big Three refused to innovate their products, killed the electric car, and manipulated Congress and the EPA into refusing California’s clean car waiver??
Here is what needs to happen before I would even consider throwing more money into this corporate money pit.
First, layoffs will begin with the CEO’s, CFO’s, and work their way down through the corporate management before one line worker is out of a job.Â And you can forget about your golden parachute boys.
Second, Detroit will build plug-in hybrids and/or electric vehicles.Â No exceptions.
Third, the American auto industry will not hinder California and the 17 other states who are trying to implement clean car legislation.Â California will get its waiver and the auto industry will not sue to block it.
If the United States wants to get out of the economic hole created by Bush and his Democratic enablers in Congress, the federal government has to stop rewarding failure.
Obama and the Democrats crushed the Republicans because voters felt they would do a better job than Bush in handling the economy.
Given that assumption, why do the Democrats want to blindly dump more of our money into the failing auto industry that has stubborly refused to acknowledge reality and innovate their products?