More on coal ash

5 11 2011

Last post, I put up the terrible news of the coal ash spill into Lake Michigan. But that spill will likely disappear from the news pretty soon. That doesn’t mean that the damage from coal ash isn’t lasting — it’s been years since the accident in Kingston, Tennessee, and yet residents are still feeling the burden. Their properties, river, and roads were affected because of a practice that lobbyists downplay as benign.

 

A lot of people focus on cost as a factor with coal ash. After all, wouldn’t it affect this terrible economy if coal industries had to dispose of their waste properly, adding costs and cutting jobs? Well, dealing with these huge spills costs private industries and government taxpayer money huge sums — $1.2 billion alone was spent on the Kingston incident from the government. This is what people are talking about when they reference the true cost of coal. We spend so much money trying to tie up the loose ends of dirty coal that the market price doesn’t reflect what ordinary citizens put into it. Here are a few interesting articles about the true cost of coal, one an older magazine article and one with a newer, global focus on the devastation of coal production.

 

As Tech students, we are supposed to have made a commitment to research and development into cutting edge technology — including energy research. As many students will tell you, it’s expensive. But the payout to society is worth the cost. Let’s get VT beyond coal and into the future, so that we don’t have to spend so much time and money on disastrous situations.

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