Feb 14, 2008

Have we lost our minds - Coalfired plants advance in Senate

 The Senate on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that essentially would require the state to approve two 700-megawatt coal-burning power plants in southwest Kansas. The bill is expected to pass.
The measure seeks to reverse a decision last year by Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby.
Bremby denied permits for the plants because of concerns about the effect of the project's carbon dioxide emissions on climate change.
A few words from the Senate on coal and CO2
State Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, dismissed climate change as an "unproven scientific theory." He said China built 180 coal-fired plants while KDHE was considering the plants' application from Sunflower Electric.
"I'm a farmer. We love CO2," he said. State Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, said CO2 was part of nature and helped crops grow.

Haase comments:
Regardless of the CO2 globalwarming debate, here are the inarguable facts on coal power.
#1 and most important  FACT - We can produce clean energy anytime nearly anywhere in America.
  • Even in Alaskan a 400-kilowatt power plant geothermal plant, and it's producing  electricity from lower temperature water than any plant in the world.
  • Heat stored beneath the Earth's surface holds 50,000 times the energy of all the oil and gas in the world combined. And is an ideal source of base-load power: Geothermal is cleaner than fossil fuels, and more reliable than alternative sources like tidal, wind, wave and solar. Today, geothermal plants in the United States generate nearly 3000 megawatts of electricity—enough to power South Dakota. Almost all of it comes from reservoirs that are at least 300 F.
  • This fall, Chena and United Technologies received a Department of Energy grant to install a demonstration plant at an oil or gas well in the United States. The nation's wells produce at least 40 billion barrels of wastewater per year, much of it low to moderate temperature. That's another 6000 to 11,000 megawatts of potential electricity.... Source Popular Mechanics
#2  FACT - Dirty Coal Kills thousands, leaves millions ill and makes necessary food toxic  
Next to dirty water, air pollution  it is the second leading cause of  death in the world. Burning coal is a leading cause of smog, acid rain, emissions, air toxics and the largest global source of heavy metals, of where just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat.
Coal as the leading cause of pollution
Coal as the leading cause of death
#3  FACT - If we don't show China we can do better their pollution will kill million more
China that has 20 times more coal fired plants than the U.S. and a
lthough the U.S. is putting the brakes on new coal, China is opening nearly one new plant a day...
Wisconsin coal Problems

Wisconsin's  emissions grew at a faster rate than the national average  Associated Press: Wisconsin's  emissions grew at a faster rate than the national average during the 1990s and can be expected to accelerate with growing reliance on coal-fired generators to produce electricity, a newspaper reports. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Sunday that its analysis of data from the federal Energy Information Administration showed greenhouse gases released in the state increased 26 percent in the 1990s, compared to the increase of 20 percent nationally. ...Link

Click to enlarge

JS Online likes to show a nice graphic and article saying how if everyone helped a little we can "save a lot"...    These may seem like small and insignificant measures to help small families in local communities... however the average "sprawl lifestyle" with a 2,500 sqft home on a "clear cut" archer of land with two SUV's in the driveway can make a BIG difference with these little suggestions.

More importantly they state: Coal-fired plants are the most polluting way to generate electricity - contributing to air quality issues and public health problems. Coal plants also are the leading contributor to rising emissions. 

George Meyer, former secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources, says Wisconsin already is years behind in curbing emissions because it failed to implement global warming action plans in the 1990s.

Bruce Nilles, a Sierra Club lawyer, agreed. Wisconsin needs to move more quickly to shut down coal plants and embrace alternative energy sources, he said.

"Right now, we take our energy dollars and send them to Wyoming to buy coal," he said. "We just need to decide as a state that we want to lead in reducing our wasteful energy practices. It's not about doing with less - it's about being smarter with what we have." Read more VIA jsonline.com

Links to CHINA coal facts:

Environmental conditions are already approaching apocalyptic in a country where coal provides 70 percent of the country's power. Chinese scientists have predicted that the Yangtze River will die by 2011, and with two-thirds of other rivers polluted, more than 340 million Chinese lack access to clean drinking water. An estimated 400,000 Chinese die of pollution every year.