Coal and water don’t mix

From Joe Romm’s excellent Climate Progress: The “other” Achilles heel of coal:

“We’ve seen states like Kansas reject coal plants because of concerns the emissions will accelerate global warming. That is the biggest fatal flaw with coal. We’ve also seen that nuclear power has its own Achilles heel in a globally warmed world — water.

Now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in a major editorial, raise both the emissions issue and the water issue for coal. They question whether now is the time to be building thirsty coal plants in a state where major water sources like Lake Lanier (see picture) are drying up:

Months before the drought had seized the public’s full attention, the state Environmental Protection Division [EPD] granted permits for a new coal-fired power plant in Early County, a rural community in a severely depressed corner of southwest Georgia. But for a variety of reasons — including mounting concerns about long-lasting water shortages and worsening air pollution — state regulators ought to reconsider, or perhaps even reverse, their decision.

The drought has forced citizens and political officials to confront environmental concerns that are usually brushed aside. So, while Mother Nature has our attention, Georgia’s leaders should think broadly about conserving all of our resources and expanding our energy portfolio. (…)”

Climate Progress: The “other” Achilles heel of coal

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