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The Failure Of Democracy In West Virginia: Redefining “Different” Energy

If, like most Americans, you find yourself unfamiliar with politics in West Virginia, you is perhaps stunned to be taught the extent to which the democratic course of has been corrupted in coal nation. Politicians, activists, environmental organizations, and pundits from both sides of the aisle point to essentially the most impoverished state in the union for example of the twenty first century democratic course of; the unrestrained affect of particular interests with out even a pretense at fairness, representation, or concern for the common good.

Maybe probably the most glaring instance so far is the lately enacted laws SB 297, proudly signed into regulation by Governor Joe Manchin, which provides credit for the usage of renewable and different fuels which are targeted to offer 25% of the state’s vitality supply by 2025. In the remainder of the nation — the entire world — various power is a normal reference to vitality sources that aren’t carbon based, hence the designation as “different”. But not in West Virginia. In West Virginia, beneath this visionary new legislation, different fuels which qualify for credit embrace tire-derived gasoline (burning tires), coal gasification or liquefaction, synthetic gasoline made from coal, waste coal, coal-bed methane, natural gas, and nuclear power. Many of these designated “various” power sources contribute not solely significantly extra GHG emissions than the dirtiest standard coal fired plants, they emit toxic pollutants as effectively. That the State of West Virginia will now concern tradable credit for these “different” energy sources is nothing wanting insane.

In keeping with Sue Sturgis:
SB 297 sets up a system of tradable credits for electricity produced by alternative and renewable sources. While it presents credit for traditional renewable sources including photo voltaic, wind, hydropower and geothermal, it also provides credits for what it calls “alternative” sources — defining those as:

* superior coal expertise, a method of capturing emissions from burning coal that is still unproven on a big scale;
* coal mattress methane, or natural gas extracted from coal beds, an energy supply that has a serious affect on groundwater provides;
* fuel produced by coal gasification or liquefaction, which emits toxic pollutants as well as greenhouse gases;
* synthetic gasoline made from coal, one other hydrocarbon-intensive and polluting gasoline;
* integrated gasification combined cycle applied sciences, which cut back but do not get rid of the emissions usually associated with coal plants;
* waste coal, the burning of which produces large quantities of greenhouse gases in addition to toxic emissions;
* tire-derived fuel, one other polluting, toxic gas supply;
* pumped storage hydroelectric projects, which are literally net customers of energy;
* natural gas, the burning of which produces greenhouse gases and other pollution; and
* nuclear power, which releases radioactive pollution to the setting and likewise produces harmful waste products.

The push for transitioning to renewable clear energy sources world wide is in response to anthropogenic local weather change. The scientific consensus on the increasingly critical threat of catastrophic climate change created by continued reliance on carbon based mostly fuels and the ensuing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) has led to intensive international negotiations on methods to stabilize and ultimately cut back the concentration ranges of these gases earlier than climate tipping factors are reached. In West Virginia nonetheless, incorrect is right, up is down, GHG emissions are good, and cancer charges are of no concern to the power industry or the federal government.

That the democratically elected authorities in West Virginia can have interaction in Orwellian Newspeak on such a grand scale is unconscionable. The regulation is designed to make sure that Mountain Prime Removal Mining (MTR) continues unabated and the energy pursuits (especially coal) proceed with enterprise as usual. Because the world prepares for the COP 15 convention in Copenhagen this December in an effort to address the climate disaster and the rapidly deteriorating global ecosystem, the State government in West Virginia remains firmly committed to path that denies scientific reality, threatens the well being and welfare of its residents, and turns a blind eye to the explosion of jobs being created by the brand new green vitality economy. The claims that the coal trade is the neatest thing that ever occurred to the State and that without large coal the regional alternative energy sources canada financial system can be devastated are so patently false — just take a drive although any small town and you will note the numerous benefits of the twenty first century coal trade. petroleum equipment and supplies The streets are empty, the vast majority of businesses closed, the cinemas and even bars lengthy gone. Higher yet take to the air for an even higher perspective.

It’s an extractive business — the one thing left behind is black mud, billions of gallons of toxic waste, and valleys crammed with the remains of mountaintops. It is time for the federal authorities to take an assertive position in enforcing environmental regulations and clean up West Virginia each politically and environmentally. President Obama and Lisa Jackson who heads the EPA ought to alternative energy sources canada answer the decision of many residents and personally examine the impacted areas of West Virginia. They should abolish the West Virginia Division of Environmental Safety as it serves no objective apart from providing taxpayer funded training for development employees in the high-quality art of blasting apart the nice mountains of Appalachia. There isn’t any environmental protection in West Virginia.