We all know that coal is dirty. We know that burning coal releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. We also know that coal mining is a dangerous business, whether people get trapped under ground or the tops of mountains are blown to shreds.
It is less widely known that coal burning actually creates poison – in the form of “coal ash,” a by-product that contains chemicals like mercury, lead, and arsenic, known to cause birth defects and premature death. Bit by bit, as coal ash settles, it poisons our waterways, our fish, and the people who depend on these resources. Bit by bit, more people are getting sick. But you can do something about it.
The Obama Administration needs to regulate coal ash as “hazardous waste.” This classification would go a long way toward restoring the protections that the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act were meant to guarantee all Americans: The right to breathe air and drink water that will not poison us. The deadline for comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about toxic coal ash is today, Nov. 19th at 6PM. Tell the EPA you support cracking down on dangerous coal ash with this easy online form from 1Sky.
And – if you aren’t already involved, this is a great opportunity to use film to educate and inspire friends, family, or your colleagues. Screen Dirty Business: “Clean Coal” and the Battle for Our Energy Future in your home or community. The film is a major work of investigation into the ‘Clean Coal’ PR campaign waged by coal companies. Can coal ever be made clean? And, if more people knew the full environmental and human costs of this outdated fossil fuel, would we continue to make the same investments? Can we truly move toward a clean energy future? The film asks these questions and more.