"Filthy Fifteen" Fly-Ash Producing US States Named By Natural Resources Defense Council

nrdc logo image
Natural Resources Defense Council has done some sleuthing to help USEPA get a fast start on regulating coal-plant generated fly ash, especially the fly ash "stored" in open impoundments. The NRDC website has a clear explanation of need: looking beyond existing fly ash sources.

"More than 80 new coal-fired power plants have been proposed around the country. If built, the plants would produce 18 million tons of coal waste per year, contaminated by over 18 thousand tons of toxic metals. Over the course of their operating lives, these new power plants would produce approximately a billion tons of coal waste containing a million tons of toxic metals."

The linked NRDC page is seriously worth reading, top to bottom. See below for a list of just the filthies.

filthy fifteen new coal fly ash generating states

I thought might be interesting to compare the NRDC list to a separate list of the 28 US Senators who recently petitioned President Obama regarding inclusion of a climate-protecting Cap & Trade provision in the Federal budget process:- 28 Senators Protest Obama's Cap and Trade.

It turns out that of the 28 Senators who signed the cited letter of protest, 11 represent states that made the NRDC's Filthy Fifteen list. (The comparison captures 12 Senators from the petition if you extend down to the the Filthy Sixteen (which includes, also, Pennsylvania's planned 5 new coal plants).

senators petitioning and with new coal ash image

What's even more interesting is that when I matched up the 28 petitioning US Senators with the top 33 states for new coal plant-waste, as projected by NRDC, those states are repesented by 25 of the 28 Cap & Trade protest letter-signing US Senators .

Think there's a substantive correlation between coal, climate, and politics here?

Is coal a wedge issue that will divide the USA into "Green States" and "Filthy States?" You tell me.

Related post on Planet Green
Planet Green Partners with the NRDC
Related post on TreeHugger
USEPA Evaluates The Fly Ash Mess Nationally: First Self-Reporting ...

Related Content on Treehugger.com