Sunday, January 13, 2008

What's not to love about mountains? Not only are they breathtaking to look at, their geography makes our region unique and they provide habitat for wildlife, recreational opportunities, and countless resources that are important to our economy.

The folks over at definitely love themselves some mountains. So much so that they are doing everything they can to protect mountains that are at risk of being levelled in coal producing areas. Nothing against coal production-coal is one of those important resources we need-but there is a problem with certain methods of how it is extracted.

You guessed where I am going with this, right? Yep, Mountain Top Removal. Well, the website has a handy-dandy tool designed to encourage electricity conservation by showing on a zip-code basis where YOUR electricity originates.

They have linked research of MTR sites, coal burning power plants, and your power meter to show directly how our electricity consumption is linked to resource extraction in the mountains.

Go ahead, we'll wait while you check it out:

"Clean coal" is a buzz word on the lips of many people these days. You hear it in Congress, read about it in newspapers, and you've probably even seen commercials about it on television. Those of us from coal producing areas know coal isn't and can never be truly "clean". Ever. Somewhere, a price is paid whether it is at the mine, the prep plant, or the power plant. Contrary to what the fancy commercials want us to believe, coal is inherently a dirty product from start to finish. And it's important that the public gets the real story.

Coal is and will remain a vital part of our economy until a suitable alternative is found. Because of that, it will continue to have impacts, both positive and negative, on the communities where it is produced. Consumers can lessen the impact of coal by turning off a light, turning off the television (or computer when not reading Hillbilly Savants!), or adjusting the thermostat a few degrees to save energy.

Here are some websites with similar information on energy consumption:

U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkley Lab Home Energy Saver - Designed to help consumers identify the best ways to save energy (and money) in their homes.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Personal Emissions Calculator - Short survey to estimate your personal greenhouse gas emissions.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Power Profiler - shows on a zip-code basis the energy mix (coal, nuclear, hydro, etc..) of your utility company

And to part, here's a video produced by on MTR and energy consumption in America featuring Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson:

1 comment:

ChristiS said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!