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1Sky and Allies Calling for No New Coal Plants
Tennessee Coal Ash Disaster is a Rude Reminder that Coal is Dirty
WASHINGTON - January 7 - In the wake of the recent coal ash spill in Tennessee, a broad coalition of activists are asking Congress for a moratorium on new coal plants. Gillian Caldwell, Campaign Director of 1Sky said, "The Tennessee coal ash spill was a man-made disaster that is directly tied to our reliance on fossil fuels. In the face of this tragedy, the coal industry still wants to build more pollution-belching coal plants, and we cannot let that happen. This just proves that in reality, there is no such thing as clean coal."
Congress has the power to stop the construction of any new dirty coal plants. 1Sky activists and allies are asking their members of Congress for a moratorium on new coal plants and to invest in renewable energy.
On December 22, over 1 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge came cascading through Eastern Tennessee. The tidal wave of sludge toppled houses and dirtied rivers and streams. This toxic coal ash has been stored in an open 40-acre pond next to the 50-year-old power plant. According to state authorities, after the spill there are 54,000 people with contaminated water in Roane County alone, and many more outside the county may also have tainted drinking water.
"If you think this could not happen to you, think again," Caldwell said, "More than 50 percent of Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant." Caldwell said that even if you are lucky enough to not live near a coal plant you are still affected by dirty coal because it is the number one source of global warming pollution in the United States.
The coal industry spent more than $45 million last year trying to convince Americans that the dirtiest fuel on the planet is "clean".
On January 8, the Senate Environment Committee is holding an oversight hearing on the Tennessee Valley Authority and the recent major coal ash spill. 1Sky steering committee member Steve Smith, the Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), will be testifying.