Clean Coal (UPDATED)

Still doesn’t exist:

Workers face “several weeks’ worth of work” to clean up 3.1 million cubic feet of fly ash dumped across hundreds of acres after a retention pond collapsed early Monday morning at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston steam plant.

No injuries have been reported, but one house was swept off of its foundation and onto the road, and huge piles of a mixture of water, mud and ash covered Swan Pond Road in Roane County.

“We’ve got a mess,” said Tom Hamby of the Roane County Highway Department. “The problem is, you don’t know what’s under this stuff.”


The 40-acre pond was used by TVA as a containment area for ash generated by the coal-burning steam plant, [TVA spokesman Gil] Francis said. An earthen wall gave way just before 1 a.m., flooding the road and railroad tracks leading to the plant.

Remember, you can’t make coal burn clean.  The idea behind clean coal is that the environmentally-harmful wastes created by burning coal–including mercury, ash, CO2 and other greenhouse gasses–can be contained in a way that will eliminate their impact on the environment.

If coal plants can’t contain polluted water sitting in a retention pond, how are they supposed to contain the billions of tons of carbon dioxide produced per year? And, even more importantly, why should we invest our tax d0llars in trying to clean up a dirty technology when we could just invest that money in creating natural, clean, renewable sources of energy?

UPDATE: Here’s aerial footage of the flood:


One comment

  1. ecoblogical · December 24, 2008

    Wish news like this was breaking news on TV instead of the latest car chase down the freeway. This wasn’t even mentioned and I think it has a great deal more impact on peoples lives! Thanks! i’LL BE LINKING TO YOUR SITE FROM MINE http://WWW.LBGBA.ORG AND http://WWW.ECOBLOGICAL.ORG

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