Understandably in the anticipation leading up to yesterday's inauguration, your political eye was probably not focused on what's going on in the aftermath of the TVA coal ash spill. But last week Sarah McCoin and Tom Gizzard, residents of Harriman, Tennessee, showed up at Congress asking questions and bearing gifts of coal ash in mason jars. They also delivered hats with "Filthy Coal" written on them to then senator, now Vice President, Joe Biden and senator John McCain, in recognition of their support for clean coal on the campaign trail. Here's some of what McCoin and Gizzard told members of Congress:McCoin: Coal Isn't Clean. It's Filthy.
We are here to say that real coal comes with a heavy cost and disastrous consequences. In reality, coal isn't clean, it's filthy. We want answers on why these toxic ponds of coal ash are allowed to remain dangerous to so many people, and why policy-makers have failed to protect us from the dangers posed by coal to the American people and communities all across the country.
Gizzard: Coal May Look Clean on TV, But It's Toxic
I have lived in this community since 1956, and I have never seen a disaster like this. I would like the folks at this PR firm to come to my community and witness first-hand the havoc their clients have brought to Harriman. I can tell you this, their coal may look clean in a TV ad but it is filthy and toxic when it is piled up in yards and playgrounds and rivers. This will harm the wildlife we hunt for and has destroyed the crappie holes where my family has fished for generations.
More photos of the TVA coal ash spill disaster:
TVA Coal Ash Spill
Aftermath of the TVA Coal Ash Spill: Get Ticketed for Taking Water Samples (Video)
2.6 Million Cubic Yards of Toxic Coal Ash Slurry Released in Tennessee Dike Burst
Massive Tennessee Toxic Ash Spill May Have Been Prevented by Fixes Rejected by TVA Officials