The myth of “clean coal”

West Virginia suffers its worst coal mining accident since 1984, with 25 dead and 4 others missing.

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If you haven’t read Jeff Goodell’s Big Coal (review here), I can’t recommend it enough. Goodell has an undeniable fondness for the miners and their families that he began covering in the context of mountaintop removal mining, though he remains clearly focused on coal’s environmental impacts on regional as well as global scales.

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Meanwhile, a Chinese coal ship has run aground on Douglas Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef. And as the article is quick to point out, the ship’s cargo of coal is far more of a threat to the Reef than the damage it does as a local spill.

[UPDATE: I’d also recommend Coal Tattoo, Ken Ward, Jr.’s fantastic blog at the Charleston Gazette. And if you want to read up on why the posturing from coal CEO’s about taking care of West Virginians and protecting their way of life from teh ebil carbon regulation is so cynical and disgusting, take minute to read this.]


2 responses to “The myth of “clean coal”

  1. I can also recommend Big Coal. It is an excellent overview of the effects of mining and burning coal. The account of Samuel Insull’s career adds a useful historical perspective.

    I’ve recently read two books that complement Goodell’s global coverage with a more local focus. They are Coal River by Michael Shnayerson, and Lost Mountain by Erik Reece. The first looks at mining along the Coal River in West Virginia, the second at the destruction of a mountain in Kentucky. Both provide insight into how Don Blankenship has been running Massey Energy.

  2. Pingback: The ever-rising human cost of coal « The Way Things Break

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