A big reason we shouldn't go crazy w/ coal as electricity source. Nasty stuff.
The 60 minutes on this the other night was pretty interesting.
This is a problem that can be avoided if the containment ponds are designed properly. Compliance with current standards would not allow ground water contamination.
The US has enough coal for several hundred years and we can not afford to not make use of this American resource. I know many of you think wind and solar will solve everything, but they will never provide all of our needs. We need coal as part of energy mix.
Remember that this report was generated by the EPA which is on record as stating that they do not want to allow any new coal power plants anywhere in the US. They are also doing everything they can to get rid of the existing plants.
Until the country gets onboard with nuclear, our only options for significant energy production are coal and natural gas. Wind, solar, geothermal - no combination can supply the amount of power we currently consume. The nuclear transition is coming, but coal will continue to provide power to millions for years to come.
Even still, nuclear will not be able to replace natural gas completely. It will provide an option for a base load, but we still need plants that can adjust their output to supply peak loads. Natural gas plants work well for that as their startup and shutdown times are pretty quick.
I think COAL is found in its natural state in the environment, not coal ASH. Ever heard of metal leaching from old mine sites?... thus getting into the water system causing heavy metal problems in source water? Yeah... Look up the definition of a Super-Fund site on the EPA website. Yup, we as tax payers have to pay for that ***** too.
You need to realize that the US EPA doesn't just come out with studies that aren't based on hard scientific data.
The new environmental movement is real. Get used to it.
Did anyone read the first line as "Coach Ash?"
Just for clarity this is "bottom ash" they're referencing stuff that falls out of the fireball to the "bottom". A good deal of "fly ash" the stuff that rises out is being used for erosion control and feed lot stabilization around the US and does not carry any concerns at the moment.
The other posters that mention problems with wind are dead on. Sometimes the wind stops blowing when you need power - actually quite a few of the hottest days are low wind production. Then you need a gas plant to turn on quickly to cover the loss - but turning a plant on and off is hard on it. More expenses for the utility means more expenses for the comsumer - not to mention the issues if natural gas prices soar again like they did a couple years ago.
Coal is cleaner than its ever been - they make as much power off of 1 railcar as they used to from 5 with less emmissions. However, it still has the by-product problems. Its cheap and we have a lot of it. and a coal plant takes something like a day to come on and off line ... so peakers they are not.
Nukes would be nice - if anyone could afford to build them.
No real solutions from that post ... just more questions I guess - but have at it anyway.