Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Colbert on Mountaintop Removal Mining

Dr. Margaret Palmer, lead author of the Science journal paper on mountaintop removal coal mining described in the post below, was brave enough to appear on the Colbert Report TV show. Watch the video here:
Coal Comfort - Margaret Palmer

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Science: Stop Mountaintop Mining Permits

Science article cites extensive evidence of permanent environmental damage and risks to human health

A group of the nation's leading environmental scientists are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a moratorium on all new mountaintop mining permits. In a Policy Forum article published in the journal Science (January 8, 2010), they argue that peer-reviewed research unequivocally documents irreversible environmental impacts from mountaintop mining which also exposes local residents to a higher risk of serious health problems.

In mountaintop mining, upper elevation forests are cleared and stripped of topsoil, and explosives are used to break up rocks in order to access coal buried below. Much of this rock is pushed into adjacent valleys where it buries and obliterates streams. Mountaintop mining with valley fills (MTM/VF) is widespread throughout eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia.

The practice destroys extensive tracts of deciduous forests and buries small streams that play essential roles in the overall health of entire watersheds. Waterborne contaminants enter streams that remain below valley fills and can be transported great distances into larger bodies of water.

At the conclusion of the article in Science, the authors argue that regulators [EPA] should no longer ignore rigorous science:
Mining permits are being issued despite the preponderance of scientific evidence that impacts are pervasive and irreversible and that mitigation cannot compensate for losses. Considering environmental impacts of MTM/VF, in combination with evidence that the health of people living in surface-mining regions of the central Appalachians may be compromised by mining activities, we conclude that MTM/VF permits should not be granted unless new methods can be subjected to rigorous peer-review and shown to remedy these problems.
A press release about the Science article is here.

The Sierra Club made a Video of Kentucky native Ashley Judd speaking out against mountaintop removal. Watch The Sierra Club video below:


See also the post below for additional information on Mountaintop Removal Mining.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Future of Energy" Smack Down

Clean Energy


Dirty Coal

Robert "The Riverkeeper" Kennedy


Don "Fill the Streams with Mountaintops" Blankenship

Live Webcast from West Virginia
January 21 at 6:15pm

Be THERE! Click Here

Join the fight for Clean Energy

and Clean Water



JPMorgan Chase is the largest investor in Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, which involves clear-cutting forests, blowing the tops off of mountains, and then dumping the debris into stream-beds.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Clean Energy Jobs to Power America

Obama pushes for green jobs program
WASHINGTON — After a disappointing new unemployment report, President Obama on Friday pushed for an expanded government program that he said would help create tens of thousands of new clean-technology jobs.

“It’s clear why such an effort is so important. Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future, jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” Obama said at the White House.

Obama announced the awarding of $2.3 billion in tax credits — to be paid for from last year’s $787 stimulus package — that he said would create some 17,000 “green” jobs. The money will go to projects including solar, wind and energy management.

The president also called for an additional $5 billion in spending for clean energy manufacturing, an idea being promoted by Vice President Biden.

Such initiatives are “an important step toward meeting the goal I’ve set of doubling the amount of renewable power we use in the next three years with wind turbines and solar panels built right here in the U. S. of A.,” Obama said.

He said more than 180 projects in more than 40 states would receive the tax credits.

“Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future,” Obama said.
Read the full AP report here.

183 projects, 43 states, Tens of Thousands of High Quality Clean Energy Jobs
- by Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate
As the President has stated before, the country that leads the way in harnessing clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. It’s no surprise that countries around the world are taking charge in this effort. China is making record investments in energy efficiency. American innovation pioneered solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it.
Check out the map below to see where many of the tomorrow’s clean energy jobs will be created and read the full blog post here. Report Predicts Offshore Wind Boom
A report published earlier this month by Emerging Energy Research, a consulting firm tracking emerging technologies in global energy markets, predicts that the $10 billion offshore wind energy market will surge to $30 billion over the next decade.

The report predicts that in the next five years, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium will be prime markets. Then, from 2014 to 2020, the United States, China and Korea will follow.

In the United States, offshore wind energy will be embraced once policy makers realize how powerful it is, said Keith Hays, the research director of wind energy at Emerging Energy Research.
Read the full report here.

As Panels Get Better and Cheaper, PVs are Poised for Their Day in the Sun
For years, it was assumed that a typical PV [photovoltaic] lasted 20 years, and financing programs and payback calculations for PV-generated electricity were based on the two-decade lifespan. But recent tests conducted by the Energy Institute -- where PVs are put through a speeded-up aging process via exposure to extremes of heat, cold, and humidity -- have shown that the panels can last much longer.

The tests indicated that over 90 percent of the panels on the market 10 years ago still performed well after 30 years, despite a small drop in performance. And, as Heinz Ossenbrink of the EU Energy Institute noted, 40-year panels are on the way.

So is PV making a big move, so to speak, and will it only be in Europe?
Read the full report here.