Hoosiers Getting Hosed by Dirty Coal

I've traveled all over this great land but I've never been to Indiana.  Perhaps that's just as well.  An illuminating and alarming news report details all the ways in which Indiana is flirting with a coal catastrophe.  Consider this:

  • Indiana's fly ash ponds -- like the one that broke in Tennessee, flooding the community downstream of TVA's Kingston power plant -- store more coal ash than any other state.
  • Indiana has13 ash lagoons, the largest at in Gibson County containing 897,800 tons of ash.
  • Forbes magazine ranks Indiana 49th in environmental quality largely due to coal, saying the state suffers from "a mix of toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption and no clear plans to do anything about it."
  • Indiana produces 96% of its electricity with coal and is the No. 1 emitter of carbon dioxide per capita in the country.
  • Indiana has the second highest emissions of nitrogen oxides, the third highest emissions of sulfur dioxide (strongly associated with human deaths) and the fourth highest emission of carbon dioxide and mercury.

  • According to a report by the Clean Air Task Force, Indiana is 5th in the nation in mortality and per capita deaths related to power plant emissions.  Indianapolis ranked as the 15th metropolitan area in the country for deaths related to such emissions. Terre Haute ranked 12th in the nation for per capita deaths related to plant emissions.

From the cradle to the grave, coal is wreaking havoc not just on people in the Hoosier State but on everyone, everywhere.   

Fortunately, the story goes on to report on recent opinion research which found that 71% of Midwesterners "support a five-year moratorium on the construction of new coal plants."  The same survey found that 88% of Americans "support phasing out coal plants and phasing in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar."

Clean energy, not dirty coal, is what more people want and definitely what the planet needs.