Coal is filthy. It pollutes our air, generic water and land. If we shut down, abandon or upgrade the most destructive mercury-spewing coal plants, will Dirty Coal CEO’s and their Chicken Little political lobbyists come out in flocks screaming?
“The sky is falling!!“
Sure. They already have.
But as writer, David Roberts from Grist points out:
“It’s helpful to have some historical perspective. Dirty utilities have forecast economic doom and blackouts every time the EPA has ever issued an air or water regulation. Every time! And every single time, they’ve been wrong. As EPA chief Lisa Jackson is fond of pointing out, in its 40-year history, the Clean Air Act has never yet caused an electric reliability problem…The fact is, defenders of clean air have analysis and history on their side…We can stop poisoning people with ancient, filthy coal plants without shivering in the dark.”
Why is it so important at this very moment to talk rationally about coal in a non-partisan, pro-save our children from mercury poisoning kind of way?
Because the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards are due to be posted at the end of this week. Mercury is a terrible neurotoxin. Fetuses, infants, toddlers and even our pets are especially vulnerable to mercury poisoning, which harms hearts, lungs, and brains. The rule to eliminate this poison has been in the making for 21 years.
You say, “OK, Mother Goose, if Moms are so smart how will I power my world?”
Invest in real clean and endless energy—renewable energy. It’s clean, it’s local and it’s inexhaustible. Think this an impossible task to do in our children’s lifetime? It’s not. This infographic from the Rocky Mountain Institute shows us how to light the way with solar, wind and other renewables. Meantime, let’s clean up the coal we are using–and make sure natural gas doesn’t turn into another big polluter.
So, will the sky fall with the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards?
No. Now is the time to send Old King Coal and his no-soul political cronies packing.
Let’s put that merry but cynical Old King Coal where he belongs…up on the wall with Humpty Dumpty.
Illustration: Steve Morrison
This post was cross-posted on Moms Clean Air Force.