The Future of Abilene’s Water

polluted water ABILENE- Did you know that coal-fired power plants are one of the largest users of water for energy?  According to Matthew Tresaugue of the Houston Chronicle, coal-fired power plants suck up over 150 billion gallons of water each year in Texas alone.  That’s enough water for over 3 million people!  Out in west Texas, water is a precious commodity.  Out in West Texas the proposed Tenaska plant is attempting to find ways to use the community’s precious, scarce water reserves.  Not only that, but in an attempt to make their dirty coal a little bit less dirty, Tenaska’s coal plant will install scrubbers attached to the smoke stacks.  Now, this might seem like a great idea at first, but these scrubbers use copious amounts of water in order to clean the smoke stacks.  The problem, in addition to the even greater consumption of water, is that once the scrubbers have “cleaned” the smoke stacks, all of the water is released right back into the environment.  According to the New York Times, this tainted water contains hazardous chemicals like lead and arsenic, which are not prohibited by the Clean Water Act when coming from Coal waste. Imagine having your drinking water poisoned with arsenic or lead!  If Tenaska is granted a permit, toxic water could be a reality for the city of Abilene, that is, if the plant leaves them any water at all.

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