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Re: SC34

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January 13, 2007 10:58PM
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/13159559/national_affairs_big_coals_dirty_move

Big Coal's Dirty Move

As the world heats up, the coal industry is racing to build more than 150 new power plants before Congress decides to crack down on global warming..........


According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a suicidal act is one that is "dangerous to oneself or to one's interests; self-destructive or ruinous." By this standard, the coal boom that is currently sweeping America is the atmospheric equivalent of a swan dive off a very tall building. At precisely the moment that scientists have reached a consensus that we need to drastically cut climate-warming pollution, the electric-power industry is racing to build more than 150 new coal plants across the United States. Coal is by far the dirtiest fossil fuel: If the new plants are built, they will dump hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year for decades to come -- virtually guaranteeing that the U.S. will join China in leading civilization's plunge into a superheated future.

Like most stories about energy, corruption and greed, this one is centered in Texas. TXU, an electric-power company based in Dallas, has announced plans to build eleven new coal plants in Texas by 2011 -- a move that a trade publication calls "one of the most ambitious generation capacity expansions in recent power industry history." Texas already dumps more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other state in the nation. TXU's new fleet of coal plants would more than double the company's current pollution, spewing 78 million tons of planet-heating pollution each year -- the equivalent of 11 million SUVs.

In an industry that usually counts its profits in pennies, coal is the new green. Power companies in Texas can make upward of twenty dollars per megawatt-hour by burning coal, which produces electricity far more cheaply than natural gas. Indeed, hefty profits from coal plants are a big reason why TXU's net income in the third quarter of 2006 was more than $1 billion -- nearly as much as Google and Apple combined.

But coal is only profitable because its pollution-related costs -- blasted mountains, increases in asthma and heart attacks, neurological damage from toxic mercury, environmental chaos caused by global warming -- are all offloaded onto the public. That's why TXU is rushing to build so many new coal plants: In the next five years, Congress is widely expected to crack down on global warming by placing limits on carbon-dioxide emissions, making coal less profitable. If TXU can sneak its plants in under the regulatory wire, it could be exempt from new regulations -- allowing the company to dump massive amounts of carbon for free............
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Wizard 700January 08, 2007 10:49PM

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Paul P. 423January 13, 2007 08:51AM

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Wizard 422January 13, 2007 10:58PM

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Rick 438January 19, 2007 06:30PM

2012?

mojavegreen 805January 21, 2007 10:01AM

Global Warming Policy

Rick 475January 19, 2007 09:36PM

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Wizard 400January 19, 2007 10:00PM

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Wizard 432January 19, 2007 10:57PM

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Rick 370January 19, 2007 11:23PM

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