03/13/2009 03:20 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Don't bite the hand that feeds you

The analysis comes in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's promise last week to begin regulating the solid waste produced by coal-fired power plants in the wake of December's massive coal ash spill in Harriman, Tennessee. [2] More than 500 million gallons of toxic waste from a Tennessee Valley Authority coal plant broke through the containment wall of a storage pond, destroying homes and contaminating two rivers. [2] Utilities dispose of much of the solid waste left over from coal combustion, which contains toxic metals like arsenic and mercury, in fly ash ponds, landfills or abandoned mines. [2] And about 43 percent of coal ash waste isn't stored at all, but reused in commercial products like cement and gypsum board, according to the coal ash association. [2] The N.R.D.C. said that with permit applications for new coal plants on the books in 33 states, new plants would account for a total of 18 million tons of new coal ash waste containing 18,000 tons of toxic metals. [2] For that matter, there is no such thing as 100% clean solar or clean batteries (someone is out there right now extracting silicon, cadmium and lithium from the ground). [1]
  1. Coal: 'Clean' or Otherwise, Get Used to It (triplepundit)
  2. The Quarrel Over Coal Ash Waste (Green Inc.(NYT))
  3. Don't bite the hand that feeds you... (It's Getting Hot In Here)
  4. WV State Senator Drinks 'Coal Slurry' to Shame His Colleagues into Action (It's Getting Hot In Here)