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Friday, May 18, 2007
more powerline stuff: West Virginia already bears more than its share of the nation's electricity generation burden
Listening to:wind
Weather:schfifty-five, breezy, partly sunny
I've been thinking about the content of the first letters I'll be sending to various state and fed legislators, the PSC, other local elected officials, maybe some newspapers. I'm trying to distill the many reasons why this giant APTrAIL megapowerline is shitty down to 1 or 2 or 3 main digestible rocksolid points. Here's the big point that's been simmering today: West Virginians already bear a much greater burden in electric generation than residents of any other state.
  • Mining: Over half the nation's electricity is fueled by burning coal, and West Virginia is 2nd in the nation in coal production, behind only Wyoming. Coal mining is one of the most dangerous occupations, and every year West Virginia families suffers as miners die on the job, and die in retirement from the Black Lung and other health damage their jobs caused. Hundred of miles of beautiful and pristine streams are dead and run orange from acid mine drainage, and our majestic mountains and valleys are scarred from the destructive removal of the coal beneath. Our curvy two-lane country roads leave numerous drivers dead every year from overloaded coal trucks causing accidents and road damage.
  • Generation: As they drive to work each morning thousands of West Virginians see the stratified yellow haze and giant plumes of pollutants coming out of the stacks at Fort Martin, Mount Storm, Harrison, John E Amos, Albright, Mountaineer, and Willow Island coal-fired power plants. And when we get home we get the mercury, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide in our air, land, and water, causing high rates of cancers, asthma, developmental disabilities, and cardiopulmonary disorders.
  • Consumption: Though we generate 2.5% of the nation's electricity, we consume less than 1%. In other words we generate more than 2 and 1/2 times the amount of electricity that we use. We certainly have no need for this project, we already have all the electricity we need and much more. And to add insult to injury Allegheny will pass on the cost of building this monstrosity to us, their customers.
  • So we have already given away our good health and naturally beautiful environment to enable other states to use more than their share of electricity. Is it fair to expect us to bear yet more burden, including reducing our property values, only so Allegheny can profit from the gluttonous eastern seaboard continuing to consume yet more power with wreckless abandon?

    permalink posted by cat 6:30 PM

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    more powerline stuff: West Virginia already bears more than its share of the nation's electricity generation burden