Dirty truth


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A presentation about the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign in CA.

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Dirty truth

  1. 1. THE DIRTY TRUTH ABOUT COAL: Why Yesterday’s Technology Should Not Be Part of Tomorrow’s Energy Future For more information: www.Sierraclub.org/coal/ca
  2. 2. A WAKE UP CALL “Coal is not only the largest fossil fuel reservoir of carbon dioxide, it is the dirtiest fuel. Coal is polluting the world's oceans and streams with mercury, arsenic and other dangerous chemicals. Our planet is in peril. If we do not change course, we'll hand our children a situation that is out of their control.” James Hanson director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.
  3. 3. Silver Bullet: Beyond Coal
  4. 4. U.S. Coal Rush: Circa 2005 • 150 proposed coal plants 1 billion tons of new annual CO2 emissions $150-200 billion • Existing coal plants Emit 2 billion tons of annual CO2 emissions (out of 6 billion economy wide) • Eliminate market for clean energy
  5. 5. Coal Will Swamp Other Efforts One megawatt of a coal plant = 6,500 tons of CO2 every year 1. California Cars: Cut CO2 emissions in new cars by 25% and SUVs by 18% starting in 2009. If every car & SUV sold in California in 2009 met this standard... CO2 emissions savings would be offset by one small (350MW) coal plant. 2. Campus Climate Challenge: All college campuses in the U.S. to reduce their CO2 emissions to zero. CO2 emissions savings would be offset by four medium (500MW) coal plants. 3. RGGI: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative effort by 11 NE states to reduce their CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by 2014. CO2 emissions savings would be offset by 14 medium (500MW) coal plants.
  6. 6. Move Beyond Coal What we’ve accomplished: • We have already stopped or stalled 123 plants Strategy going forward: • Help block proposed new plants • Retire existing plants • End mountaintop removal • Create healthy economies through just transitions
  7. 7. When considering if coal should be a part of our energy future we need to consider: • If it can be mined responsibly • If it can be burned cleanly • If it does not worsen climate change Right now, coal meets of these tests.
  8. 8. Mountain Top Removal Toxic Coal Slurry
  9. 9. “THE TRUE COST OF COAL” CHEAP IF YOU IGNORE SOCIETAL COSTS Coal in the Southwest is relatively abundant and “societal” costs have, historically, been ignored and given coal an advantage. When costs are factored in, coal becomes non-competitive, especially in a region like the Southwest, which is abundant in renewable energy resources
  10. 10. CALIFORNIA’S SHARE OF WESTERN COAL "The Dineh (otherwise known as Navajo) were stripped of all land title and forced to relocate. Their land was turned over to the coal companies without making any provisions to protect the burial or sacred sites that would be destroyed by the mines. People whose lives were based in their deep spiritual and life-giving relationship with the land were relocated into cities, often without compensation, forbidden to return to the land that their families had occupied for generations. People became homeless with significant increases in alcoholism, suicide, family break up, emotional abuse and death. " -- Marsha Monestersky for the UN Commission on Human Rights and Women Enacting Change at the UN
  11. 11. Where does the Coal come from? BLACK MESA COAL “Our water has reached irreversible damage, families face devastating impacts,” said Nicole Horseherder, Navajo citizen and Black Mesa resident. •Strip mining began at the Navajo Mine in 1963 •The second mine on Black Mesa was the Kayenta Mine, supplying the Navajo Generating Station • Mines and plants generated employment, a common complaint on the reservation was that Navajos and Hopis were filling few of the higher- paying jobs. • On Black Mesa, 80 percent of Navajo people still lack running water, and 50 percent of people on the Navajo and Hopi reservations lack electricity, a huge irony given the massive transmission lines overhead http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/black -mesa-01-22-2009.html
  12. 12. CALIFORNIA’S SHARE IN WESTERN COAL PLANTS – Navajo Generating Station B URNING • Page, Arizona •19.9 million tons of global-warming carbon dioxide ~ 3.2 million cars THE FUTURE •5th largest power plant emitter of carbon dioxide •3rd largest emitter of nitrogen oxides (smog causing particulate) • 8 million tons of coal p/y • 25,000 tons of coal per day • 9.1 Billion Gallons of Water
  13. 13. CALIFORNIA’S SHARE IN WESTERN COAL PLANTS – Intermountain Power Plant INTERMOUNTAIN POWER PROJECT •Delta, Utah •14.5 million tons of global-warming carbon dioxide •28,720 tons per year of Nitrous Oxide •3,520 tons per year of Sulfur Dioxide •260 lbs of Arsenic per year • 140 lbs of lead per year • 260 lbs of chromium per year • 220 lbs of Mercury per year • 1.9 grams of Dioxin per year •Anaheim’s share of IPP = 13.225% http://www.flickr.com/photos/19779889@N00/4052563745/
  14. 14. CALIFORNIA’S SHARE IN WESTERN COAL PLANTS – San Juan Generating Station ANAHEIM POWERED BY COAL •San Juan Generating Station • Waterflow, NM •Sulfur Dioxide 10,600 tons per year •8 million tons of carbon dioxide •17,200 tons of Nitrous Oxide per year •Arsenic 150 lbs per year •Lead 140 lbs per year •Chromium 220 lbs per year •Mercury 640 lbs per year •Dioxin 1.0 lbs per year •Anaheim’s share of San Juan = 10% http://www.flickr.com/photos/40731790@N04/3746946393/
  15. 15. CALIFORNIA’S SHARE OF WESTERN COAL PLANTS POLLUTING THE SOUTHWEST • SO2 emitted from California’s share of western coal-fired electricity exceeds the total amount of SO2 emitted from all sources in California • The amount of NOx emitted from California’s share of western coal is more than ten times the total amount of NOx emitted from all electric utilities in California and is almost as great as the amount of NOx emitted from all on-road motor vehicles in Los Angeles County • California’s share of the mercury produced from western coal plants is more than 200 times the total amount emitted from all power plants within the state of California http://www.ceert.org/PDFs/reports/Coalreport.pdf
  16. 16. WHO ARE DIRECTLY AFFECTED BLACK MESA – KAYENTA MINE Health •U.S. Geological Survey “People living in the Shiprock area more than five times as likely to experience respiratory complaints” • The American Lung Association estimated that sixteen thousand people in the region (15 percent of the population) http://www.dinecare.org/pages/carlantapp.html suffer from lung disease probably caused by plant emissions. Damage to Water Supplies •Between 1969 and 2005 Peabody’s pumping resulted in significant damage to community water supplies with depleted wells and decreased surface flows in area springs and creeks upon which residents and wildlife depend. •150 million tons of coal combustion waste (containing cadmium, selenium, arsenic, and lead) has been dumped in the Navajo and San http://www.dinecare.org/pages/carlantapp.html Juan mines threatening aquifers.
  17. 17. HOW WE ARE ALL AFFECTED Mercury Mercury is one of several toxic air pollutants released into the air by coal-fired power plants. It enters the water cycle and accumulates in fish.
  18. 18. HOW WE ARE ALL AFFECTED Public Health Dangers Public Health Dangers • Triggers heart attacks & • Like a sunburn in the lungs strokes • Increases risk of asthma • Increases risk of asthma • Shortness of breath • Irregular heartbeat • Permanent lung damage • Premature death • Premature death Environment Environment • Depletes soil nutrients • Destroys ecosystems • Destroys forests and crops • Weakens plant and tree • Acidification of waters growth, making them vulnerable to disease, insects, and extreme weather • Reduces crop productivity
  19. 19. “Our planet is in peril. If we do not change course, we'll hand our children a situation that is out of their control.” SOLUTIONS WE HAVE SOLUTIONS, WE CAN REBUILD AND INVEST IN THE FUTURE! Geothermal Wind Power “We can be the Saudi Arabia of sun”
  20. 20. Energy Efficiency ENERGY EFFICIENCY WILL CREATE LOCAL JOBS Beyond wind, solar, and geothermal power, a way of supplying energy needs existed that was even more competitive and plentiful: efficiency and conservation measures.
  21. 21. Create Clean Energy Careers Now! • We can create economic prosperity • Reduce our dependence on foreign oil and coal, and tackle global warming and pollution • Creating a strong grassroots base willing to take on the millions Big Oil and Coal spend on lobbying Washington in order to create healthy and just communities.
  22. 22. TAKE ACTION TAKING IT TO OUR COMMUNITIES We will work with communities in the Southwest to protect our mountains, lands and waters by keeping coal reserves in the ground. We will: 1. Educate our communities about the “true costs of coal” 2. Educate policy-makers about the types of energy we want the utility to invest in for our future. 3. Work with the communities affected by our pollution and support their work to clean up the Southwest Decision-makers Join us!
  23. 23. WE HAVE A VOICE 1. Stop the construction of dirty, new coal plants by educating investors and decision makers about the economic and environmental risks of investing in new coal 2. Retire old plants that are the worst contributors to health-harming soot and smog pollution and replace them with clean energy solutions 3. Work with communities to protect our mountains, lands and waters by keeping our vast coal reserves in the ground. Implement AB32 and the expanded Renewable Portfolio Standards so that: 1) economic benefits flow to California’s workers and businesses 2) related workforce training programs benefit from adequate funding for state- of-the art equipment and proper design of new processes and systems.
  24. 24. “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.” Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change November 17, 2007
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