Coal-fired power plants are one of the largest sources of pollution in our country. They emit thousands of pounds of toxic mercury pollution every year, but also arsenic, lead and acid gases.
Below is an excerpt from Joe Starkey’s article in the West Texas Tribune. For the full article – click here.
How can you call CLEAN a plant that intends to dump 130 pounds of Mercury into our land per year? and tons of coal ash?
Please stop talking about the Tenaska Trailblazer plant as an economic boon to this region. Just looking at the mercury pollution from this plant shows how much it would cost us. A child living in the toxic footprint of a coal plant (yes Abilene and Sweetwater would be in the toxic footprint of the Trailblazer Plant) is 2% more likely to suffer from Autism. The cost per Autistic child to the community is estimated to be $3,200,000.00 over the lifetime of that child. Those figures are part of the findings in the first study to comprehensively survey and document the costs of autism to U.S. society. Michael Ganz , Assistant Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard School of Public Health, authored the study.
An increase of only one autistic child would eat up 7 years of water income from this plant. Current figures from Region 14 show almost 200 children being treated for Autism. A 2% increase per year over the next 50 years (projected life of this plant) would mean Abilene paying for an additional 300 children with autisim who would not have in the normal course of events been affected. This would cost us approximately TEN BILLION dollars over the life of the plant.
– Joe Starkey is a photojournalist for the West Texas Tribune. His parents home have their south fence as Tenaska’s north fence. His 200 acres, where he learned to fish, hunt and care for cows, is about 3 miles north of Tenaska.
Texans deserve better. Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to come out with new rules to regulate Mercury across the country. Stay tuned.
–Eva Hernandez, Field Organizing Manger, Beyond Coal Campaign
Abilene, TX- Earlier today, Tenaska pulled out of talks with the City of Abilene regarding the purchase of water for the proposed coal-fired power plant. Mayor Norm Archibald announced that Abilene would not sell water to Tenaska, expressing his concerns about the city’s future water supply. Lauren Ross of Glenrose Engineering indicated that even if the plant’s water demands were significantly reduced, “The water demands of the proposed Tenaska facility cannot be met with Nolan County water supply resources unless existing uses are displaced.” Reports noted that Abilene’s effluent water has been decreasing, thereby increasing the gap between the supply and demand for water. Opposition to the plant’s creation is strong. It seems that the few sources of water are still unwilling to sell to the dirty coal plant.
ABILENE, Texas — Days ago, local residents of Abilene used the one of the most iconic symbols of environmentalism, the bicycle, to show their opposition to the coal-fired power plant proposed for construction. Residents young and old came out to show their opposition to the dirty coal plant attempting to set up shop in their backyards. The riders, donning brightly colored “Roll Beyond Coal” shirts, cruised through the trails in Nelson Park. Countless local citizens oppose the Tenaska plant and the harmful health and environmental effects it will inevitably produce. The ride was one of nine similar events throughout Texas in an attempt to spread awareness about the terrible effects of dirty coal.
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.