mountain top destruction


No. Actually the Earth is not a battery. But are we sucking the life out of the Earth? Yes we are.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/08/10/Earth-Battery-Running-Low/

The Earth’s Battery Is Running Low

We’ve drained our planet’s stored energy, scientists say, with no rechargeable plug in sight.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 10 Aug 2015, TheTyee.ca

In the quiet of summer, a couple of U.S. scientists argued in the pages of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that modern civilization has drained the Earth — an ancient battery of stored chemical energy — to a dangerous low.

Although the battery metaphor made headlines in leading newspapers in China, India and Russia, the paper didn’t garner “much immediate attention in North America,” admits lead author John Schramski, a mechanical engineer and an ecologist.

And that’s a shame, because the paper gives ordinary people an elegant metaphor to understand the globe’s stagnating economic and political systems and their close relatives: collapsing ecosystems. It also offers a blunt course of action: “drastic” energy conservation.

It, too, comes with a provocative title: “Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the Earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind.”

The battery metaphor speaks volumes and then some.

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Go there and read. Be very scared. More next week.

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I have a saying. If you can’t make it work under capitalism and socialism is already leaving you voluntarily then you are pretty much done for this world. It looks like coals time has come and gone and it is the same with nuclear power too. Thank the gods that be. Now the question is, is it too late? We are walking a tight rope on that one. If we can come up with some remediations we just might pull out of this very steep climate dive. It is going to be close.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/flurry-of-coal-power-plant-shutdowns-expected-by-2016-17086

Flurry of Coal Power Plant Shutdowns Expected by 2016

A flurry of coal-fired power plants — major sources of climate change-fueling carbon dioxide emissions — could be closed by 2016, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts.

New emissions regulations and low natural gas prices, partly because of the fracking boom throughout the U.S., are leading utilities to shut down coal-fired power plants and open new ones that burn natural gas. With new Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards limiting mercury, acid gases and toxic metals from coal-fired power plants taking effect in 2015, there is even more impetus for utilities to retire older coal plants, according to the EIA.

Because of those new standards, the EIA forecasts that 90 percent of the power plants expected to shut down by 2020 will actually be shut down by 2016. Those new standards include coal-fired power plants likely having to install flue gas desulfurization equipment, or “scrubbers,” which cost hundreds of millions of dollars each, depending on the size of the plant.

Utilities may decide to shutter a coal-fired power plant if coal prices, wholesale electricity prices and the costs of installing scrubbers do not make economic sense, according to the EIA.

Coal-fired power plants are feeling the heat about carbon emissions, too. Concern about coal plants’ carbon emission contributing to climate change are driving the EPA to write new carbon emissions rules unrelated to the new mercury standards. The EPA has proposed new regulations aiming to curb carbon emissions from future coal-fired power plants and is in the process of proposing similar regulations governing existing coal power plants.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I know this area is where the mantra – Government is BAD was born. Mainly because of integration and the regulation of tobacco (not to mention the moonshiners). This attack on all things paid for by taxes has continued unabated for the last 60 years. But really, 2 major rivers have suffer significant contamination in the past month and nothing has been done? Nothing. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now North Carolina and Virginia, and no legislation has been proposed. We do not even have testing to find out what these contaminates really are. And in the second case no studies into MGHM to say even what the chemical does. Really?

http://news.yahoo.com/nc-river-turns-gray-sludge-coal-ash-spill-024204513.html

NC river turns to gray sludge after coal ash spill

Associated Press

ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. (AP) — Canoe guide Brian Williams dipped his paddle downstream from where thousands of tons of coal ash has been spewing for days into the Dan River, turning the wooden blade flat to bring up a lump of gray sludge.

On the riverbank, hundreds of workers at a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina scrambled to plug a hole in a pipe at the bottom of a 27-acre pond where the toxic ash was stored.

Since the leak was first discovered by a security guard Sunday afternoon, Duke estimates up to 82,000 tons of ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water has spilled into the river. Officials at the nation’s largest electricity provider say they cannot provide a timetable for when the leak will be fully contained, though the flow has lessened significantly as the pond has emptied.

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And earlier this was West Virginia.

Federal grand jury investigates West Virginia chemical spill

By Drew Griffin. David Fitzpatrick and Patricia DiCarlo CNN

(CNN) — A federal grand jury investigation has been launched into the West Virginia chemical spill that left 300,000 people unable to use their water supply, CNN learned Tuesday.

Sources familiar with the grand jury’s activities tell CNN that subpoenas have been issued requiring testimony for what one federal official confirms is a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, an independent water test conducted at CNN’s request has found trace levels of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, remain in both untreated river water and tap water from two homes in Charleston.

The results by TestAmerica found the chemical is within the safe level of 1 part per million set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; whether that level is safe is disputed

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I was going to start a meditation on Environmental and Energy Conservation websites today but then I got to this story in the Illinois Times. I am actually citing the one from the St. Louis Dispatch but you can find the Illinois Times one here:

http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-10536-state-gives-ameren-a-pollution-pass.html

So here is the piece from the SLD, mainly because I hardly ever link up with them.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/ill-regulators-delay-ameren-pollution-controls/article_123019f5-fe57-5971-9600-4f4c4d7281cb.html

Ill. regulators delay Ameren pollution controls

State regulators have granted Ameren Corp. a five-year delay in the installation of pollution controls at a large coal-fired power plant in southeastern Illinois after the company threatened to close other plants and cut hundreds of jobs.

The Illinois Pollution Control Board granted the delay Thursday, giving the St. Louis-based company until 2020 to install equipment to control smog, which is linked to heart and lung problems. The company had initially agreed to do it by 2015.

Ameren had argued that because of the drop in electricity prices _ driven in part by competition from natural gas plants _ it could no longer afford to finish installing sulfur dioxide scrubbers at its Newton plant under the original timetable.

Environmental groups lambasted the regulators’ decision, saying it undercuts the state’s pollution standards. Ameren said the move was necessary to save jobs.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Lets see they lie, cheat and steal. But they also pollute the heck out of the environment and they get people killed. I am going to miss these guys.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/story/2012-06-12/coal-to-gas-project-denied/55557114/1

U.S. coal use falling fast as utilities switch to gas

By Jonathan Fahey, Associated Press

NEW YORK – America is shoveling coal to the sidelines.

The fuel that powered the U.S. from the industrial revolution into the iPhone era is being pushed aside as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives.

The share of U.S. electricity that comes from coal is forecast to fall below 40% for the year, its lowest level since World War II. Four years ago, it was 50%. By the end of this decade, it is likely to be near 30%.

“The peak has passed,” says Jone-Lin Wang, head of Global Power for the energy research firm IHS CERA.

Utilities are aggressively ditching coal in favor of natural gas, which has become cheaper as supplies grow. Natural gas has other advantages over coal: It produces far fewer emissions of toxic chemicals and gases that contribute to climate change, key attributes as tougher environmental rules go into effect.

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Go there and laugh, I mean read. More tomorrow.

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As my great Grandfather used to say, this guy is so full of pig manure it’s running out of his ears. But then he was a hog farmer.

http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/from-the-right/governments-war-on-coal-is-a-war-of-regulations-against-americas-way-of-life-148006215.html

Governments “war on coal” is a war of regulations against Americas way of life

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 04:21 PM

The new EPA rulings will finally bring to fruition President Obama’s promise his policies will necessarily bankrupt the coal industry.

Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama explained his anti-coal energy policy in an editorial board meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad.”  “So if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can – it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

But the 2010 elections saw a landslide defeat of those politicians in the house and senate who supported skyrocketing our utility rates through cap and trade and put an end to President Obama’s aspirations in a new energy tax.

But that didn’t put an end of efforts to kill the coal industry and the day after the landslide defeats of the 2010 elections, President Obama said  “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.”

After that the EPA began to enact regulation by bureaucratic fiat rather than the legislative process.

Even staunch supporters in the labor unions are beginning to wake up to the fact that they are being regulated out of a job if the Obama administration has its way.  The Keystone Pipeline rejection already has hit the labor unions hard by halting the creation of 20K plus jobs in the construction industry.

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Regrettably I must say, go there and read. More tomorrow.

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This man was a union busting, kill people no matter what, demonic money grubber. Now maybe we can add jailed inmate to that list.

http://npasternack.hubpages.com/hub/The-Fall-of-Massey-Energy-CEO-Don-Blankenship

The Fall of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship

Do you know who Don Blankenship is? You should.

The era of Don Blankenship has come to an end. Don Blankenship, now former CEO of the sixth largest coal extraction company in the United States was one of the most hated men in the energy industry. Mr. Blankenship was an undoubtedly successful businessman, but also a highly controversial and hated public figure. His time spent at the head of Massey energy saw the company rise from a small coal mining operation to the most powerful energy company in Appalachia. He also rose from an office accountant to the highest paid coal company CEO in the United States.

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That can’t happen soon enough. He is of course is going to try to blame mine management. Just like the old buffoon in Utah.

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http://wvgazette.com/News/201112060212

December 6, 2011
UBB family members want justice, not money

By Kate White

BEAVER — Family members of the 29 miners killed in the worst mining disaster in the United States in nearly 40 years say they want justice more than money.

“You can’t put a dollar amount on my husband. I want to see who is going to be indicted next,” said Gina Jones, 39, of Beckley. “I was there when they found [Hughie Elbert] Stover guilty and I’ll be there for the next.”

Family members gathered Tuesday at MSHA’s training academy to be briefed on the agency’s final report on the disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine in April 2010 that killed 29 miners and severely injured two others. They were also advised that officials have agreed to accept $200 million in fines, victim restitution and mine safety improvements to settle enforcement actions and some criminal matters. However, some individuals may still face criminal prosecution

Hughie Elbert Stover, a former Raleigh County deputy and longtime security director at Upper Big Branch, was found guilty of two felony counts of making a false statement and trying to cover up records in a federal investigation.

“We want those responsible all taken away from their families like what has happened to us,” said Jones, whose husband Edward Dean Jones was killed in the explosion.

Other family members echoed her sentiments.

“It’s just beginning. We’ve only just gotten the information, the future is ahead and this isn’t ending anytime soon,” said Judy Jones Petersen of Charleston. Edward Dean Jones, who had worked in the Performance Coal

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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The Left wing hates coal.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36132029/ns/politics-howard_fineman/

Obama’s energy challenge is coal, not oil

45 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants

By Howard Fineman

msnbc.com msnbc.com
updated 4/14/2010 10:09:22 AM ET 2010-04-14T14:09:22
ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama touched off a new environmental skirmish with his decision to open vast new areas of the American coastline to offshore oil drilling. But as loud as that battle is going to get, it is nothing compared with the real energy war to come.

I speak, of course, of the Coal War.

Forget whatever else you hear about energy policy, the real fight — and the real political problem — this year in Congress will be how to deal with our nagging reliance on the most abundant component of our carbon-based patrimony.

We can talk until we’re blue in the face about offshore drilling, wind power, natural gas, and energy conservation … but the short-term drift of history still dictates a heavy reliance on the dirtiest and deadliest of all fuels: coal.

The big question in the energy bill — if there is one — is how and whether Congress will ask the American people to pay for the cost of controlling the environmental consequences of that reliance.

At its core, the president’s energy vision calls for switching our transportation system from oil to plug-in electricity. But 45 percent of all electricity in the country is still generated by coal-fired power plants. In other words, we run the real risk of merely replacing one polluting and increasingly scarce fuel, petroleum, with an abundant but even more environmentally troublesome one, coal.

An energy bill that, among other things, would tax pollution caused by burning fossil fuels was passed by the House last year. It’s gotten nowhere in the Senate. Obama’s drilling announcement was designed to get the Senate’s attention — and garner some Republican support.

But opening up offshore drilling prospects is politically, the easy part. I think the president can get that piece of the puzzle.

The hard part is going to be convincing senators from coal-producing and/or electricity-exporting states to go along with any sort of carbon tax.

States with power plants that generate electricity from coal read like a roster of presidential swing states. Among them: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri and North Carolina. And other states with major coal commitments include: Georgia, Arizona, Kentucky and Wyoming.

Getting 60 votes for some kind of carbon-pollution tax, even if it’s in the most attenuated “cap-and-trade” form, will be next to impossible.

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Go read the rest. It is pretty good. Everyone have a great weekend. More next week.

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Apparently Mike Barone believes the tautology that we use a lot of coal now, so we always will. He believes that politicians are gutless when it comes to environmental damage. We shall see.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/barone/2009/03/25/obama-cap-and-trade-will-meet-coal-fired-energy-political-opposition

Michael Barone

Obama Cap-and-Trade Will Meet Coal-Fired Energy Political Opposition

By Michael Barone

Posted: March 25, 2009

By Michael Barone, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Bill Galston at the New Republics blog provides some clear thinking on the prospects for the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade legislation. His conclusion: ain’t gonna happen. Galston notes that national polls show that on the question of balancing economic against environmental considerations, voters have switched and are now more concerned about the economy—as in holding down utility costs—and less concerned about the environment.

And, as Galston points out, a cap-and-trade system would substantially increase the price of electricity produced by coal. Nationally, we get 49 percent of our energy by coal (these are 2006 figures, from the 2009 Statistical Abstract of the United States), but reliance on coal varies widely by state. The following table may help you to understand the political implications. It shows the percentage of electricity produced by coal in each state above the national average and the number of Democratic senators and representatives from each of those states.

% of electricity produced by coal in each state above the national average senators representatives
Alabama 55 0 2
Colorado 71 2 5
Delaware 69 2 0
Georgia 63 0 6
Indiana 95 1 5
Iowa 76 1 3
Kansas 73 0 1
Kentucky 92 0 2
Maryland 60 2 7
Michigan 60 2 8
Minnesota 62 1 5
Missouri 84 1 4
Montana 60 2 0
Nebraska 65 1 0
New Mexico 80 2 3
North Carolina 60 1 8
North Dakota 93 2 1
Ohio 86 1 10
Oklahoma 50 0 1
Pennsylvania 56 1 12
Tennessee 65 0 5
Utah 89 0 1
West Virginia 97 2 2
Wisconsin 65 2 5
Wyoming 94 0 0
TOTAL 26 96

Do the math. That leaves only 32 Democratic senators from less-than-average coal-reliant states and only 157 Democratic House members from less-than-average coal-reliant states. Now I’m not saying that every member from such states will vote against cap-and-trade, but I think an awful lot would. And I don’t think many Republicans are going to vote for cap-and-trade. In his press conference last night, Barack Obama seemed to accept the Senate Budget Committee’s Democrats’ decision to jettison the money for cap-and-trade and expressed a wistful hope that something might be done later. But even in better economic times, the numbers tend to work against any such proposal.

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More tomorrow.

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Can you imagine a world where not only are there oil and natural gas supertankers circling the globe but coal supertankers too? George Will can. Wonder who pays this guys paycheck?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7362049.html

King coal’s staying power now and into the future

By GEORGE F. WILL
Washington Post

Jan. 1, 2011, 4:03PM

Cowlitz County in Washington state is across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., which promotes mass transit and urban density and is a green reproach to the rest of us. Recently, Cowlitz did something that might make Portland wonder whether shrinking its carbon footprint matters. Cowlitz approved construction of a coal export terminal from which millions of tons of U.S. coal could be shipped to Asia annually.

Both Oregon and Washington are curtailing the coal-fired generation of electricity, but the future looks to greens as black as coal. The future looks a lot like the past.

Historian William Rosen (The Most Powerful Idea in the World, about the invention of the steam engine) says coal was Europe’s answer to the 12th-century “wood crisis” when Christians leveled much forestation in order to destroy sanctuaries for pagan worship, and to open farmland. Population increase meant more wooden carts, houses and ships, so wood became an expensive way to heat dwellings or cook. By 1230, England had felled so many trees it was importing most of its timber and was turning to coal.

“It was not until the 1600s,” Rosen writes, “that English miners found their way down to the level of the water table and started needing a means to get at the coal below it.” In time, steam engines were invented to pump out water and lift out coal. The engines were fired by coal.

Today, about half of America’s and the world’s electricity is generated by coal, the substance which, since it fueled the Industrial Revolution, has been a crucial source of energy. Over the last eight years, it has been the world’s fastest-growing fuel. The New York Times recently reported (“Booming China Is Buying Up World’s Coal,” Nov. 22) about China’s ravenous appetite for coal, which is one reason coal’s price has doubled in five years

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More tomorrow.

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