I’m on vacation. Far away from any coal mine. But I can’t really get away. I brought study material (that’s on me) to enjoy (?) on my son’s back porch with a cup of chai on this sunny summer day. Email reminds me that an informational meeting needs to be publicized on Facebook. Son urges me to connect my blog to my brand new Twitter account to share my blog further.
But it goes deeper than that.
I can’t really get away because now I am awake to some of the true costs of the electricity that I use every day. I love my tech gadgets. No, I SERIOUSLY love my tech gadgets. But now I know that especially in Appalachia, someone’s groundwater has been polluted to bring me this electricity. A mountaintop is gone, destroyed for the coal it contains, to fire up a coal fired electric plant. A community’s air is fouled. A homeowner’s home has lost all of it’s financial value because of a neighboring mine. Someone is struggling with health problems due to pollutants and stress from living near a mine. And I’m aware that there are additional costs that I don’t really know about yet.
I am aware and I can’t stop being so.
Coal is safe. “Clean Coal” is achievable. Pollutants from coal mining are strictly regulated. Mountaintop Removal sites are left better than before.