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New Coal Plants in Midwest

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  • Mike Neuman
    Under-the-radar Coal Plants Could Doom Air Pollution Control For Decades The Capital Times :: EDITORIAL :: 11A Thursday, January 6, 2005 Dierk Polzin Madison
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2005
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      Under-the-radar Coal Plants Could Doom Air Pollution Control For
      Decades

      The Capital Times :: EDITORIAL :: 11A
      Thursday, January 6, 2005
      Dierk Polzin Madison

      Dear Editor: The most under-reported story in 2004 in local media was
      the boom in new coal-fired power plants planned for the Midwest.

      Mention has been made quite often of the new plants on the south side
      of Milwaukee in Oak Creek, but little mention has been made of 11
      coal-fired plants in Illinois, five in Missouri and 11 more in
      Kentucky. These plants have a productive life of 75 years and will
      doom efforts to control carbon emissions. With the recent tripling of
      natural gas prices, many more utilities are jumping on the coal
      bandwagon to produce cheap and dirty electricity at 2 cents per
      kilowatt-hour.

      Illinois alone, which has been a nationwide leader in using nuclear
      power, will increase its coal-fired electrical production 61 percent,
      from 17,426 to 28,157 megawatts if all the planned projects are
      completed. Across the country 36 states have plans to build 100 new
      coal-fired plants, as tracked by the McIlvaine Co. and reported in
      the New York Times last month.

      Any efforts to comply with the Kyoto Protocol will soon be shot out
      the window: According to the Christian Science Monitor, if all the
      proposed plants in three key countries -- China, India and the United
      States -- are built by 2012, they will emit an extra 2.7 billion tons
      of carbon dioxide. In contrast, those three countries are supposed to
      reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by some 483 million tons.

      China alone is on track to add 562 coal-fired plants. The new coal
      plants would burn 900 million extra tons of coal each year, which in
      turn would emit 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the
      atmosphere.

      What we will see here in Wisconsin downstream from the pollution from
      Illinois and Missouri will not only add to carbon dioxide emissions
      but will add to the problems we already have with acid rain and
      mercury in the lakes and streams. The soot will add to the problem of
      childhood asthma that has become an epidemic in the cities of the
      northeast United States. We are at the cusp of creating a huge new
      infrastructure both here and abroad that will make any attempt at
      meeting Kyoto irrelevant.

      Without strong local and regional opposition to these power plants
      and a willingness to take on the utilities now, we will have created
      a environmental legacy that even our grandchildren will have little
      chance to fix.

      http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?
      ref=tct:2005:01:06:399477:EDITORIAL
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