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Archive for Sunday, October 25, 2009

Protesters decry coal use near Westar

Campaign designed to encourage firms to consider alternative options such as wind, solar energy

Area residents gather at the Westar Energy plant Saturday to participate in one of hundreds of rallies worldwide, advocating for wind energy. The event was coordinated by 350.org, which is urging world leaders to take fast and effective action on global warming.

Area residents gather at the Westar Energy plant Saturday to participate in one of hundreds of rallies worldwide, advocating for wind energy. The event was coordinated by 350.org, which is urging world leaders to take fast and effective action on global warming.

October 25, 2009

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Group rallies against coal energy

A group held a protest held a rally Saturday afternoon at the Westar Plant, 1250 N. 1800 Road, to give its opinion on America's reliance on coal energy. Enlarge video

Local activists protest against coal use

Local activists gathered Saturday outside Westar Energy to protest the use of coal as an energy source. The protest was part of the global-wide day of climate action. Enlarge video

With a billowing smokestack in the background, about 30 activists on Saturday chanted, “What do we want? Clean energy. When do we want it? Now,” in front of the Westar Energy facility, 1250 N. 1800 Road in Lawrence. The event was part of a global day of action, organized by 350.org, designed to reduce global carbon emissions.

Organizers and participants advocated for decreasing the use of coal as an energy source.

“It’s dirty. It’s filthy,” said local Greenpeace activist Jodi Jakylovich.

Jakylovich said one of the event’s goals was to encourage energy companies to utilize cleaner forms of energy, such as wind and solar power. Despite demonstrating in front of Westar, she said the event was not directed specifically at the company.

“We have the ability to have renewable energy in Kansas,” she said.

The event in Lawrence was part of more than 2,000 events on Saturday across the world. The number 350 signifies the “safe limit for humanity” of carbon dioxide parts per million in the environment, according to the organization’s Web site. The current world level of carbon dioxide is nearing 400 parts per million.

Lawrence businessman Tony Schmidt said he was at the event for the protection of the environment for future generations.

“I can’t face my grandchildren and daughters if we don’t take a stand,” he said. “We need to faze out these coal plants.”

Amy Pepper, also a Greenpeace activist, said it’s important to get Kansas more involved in the environmental movement.

“Kansas is a great place to allocate wind energy,” she said, as mini-windmills twirled in the grass near the demonstrators. “This is where it matters. … Why aren’t we standing in front of a big wind farm?”

The event ended after about 30 minutes when two Douglas County Sheriff’s patrol cars arrived. Participants were told they were on Westar property and agreed to leave after discussions with police.

Comments

lounger 5 years, 1 month ago

The event ended after about 30 minutes when two Douglas County Sheriff’s patrol cars arrived. Participants were told they were on Westar property and agreed to leave after discussions with police.

And this is a protest? The fuzz shows up and you throw in the towel? Cmon! Kick some A*s here! Get thrown in jail (if you can afford the bond) and make some waves. Two Douglas county sheriff's-HA!

LogicMan 5 years, 1 month ago

"We need to faze out"

Spell-check substitution error, methinks. Phase out.

grammaddy 5 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a peaceful demonstration to me. It got in the papers. Sometimes that's enough.Sorry only 30 people showed up. Should have let more people know this was happening. I haven't been to a good demonstration since the Vietnam era.

Keith 5 years, 1 month ago

I sure hope none of these brave protesters are using any of that nasty electricity in their homes. Take a stand!

labmonkey 5 years, 1 month ago

I am with Keith. If you don't like where your electricity comes from, quit using it. Greenpeace is an eco-terrorist organization.

Same goes for you Gram....quit using your electricity if you don't like where it comes from.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"I sure hope none of these brave protesters are using any of that nasty electricity in their homes."

Oh, come on. Electricity is essential to modern life, so suggesting that someone can't protest how it's generated unless they completely forswear it's use is just silly, especially when electrical generation is a monopoly industry.

gphawk89 5 years, 1 month ago

Whiners. Don't like Westar's electricity? Go home and try powering your home with a hand-cranked generator. No, too difficult. Better use a gas-powered generator. Oops, that would be "dirty and filthy" too. Try solar cells. Wow, way too expensive. Maybe erect a windmill? Nope, too unreliable. maybe a nuclear plant? No, you'd be out protesting that for sure. Which leaves... Westar.

I wish the LJW would have published a picture of the "billowing smokestack in the background".

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

What goes up the Coal stacks goes into your lungs:

Mercury – Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that causes neurological and developmental problems. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. Power plants in the United States release approximately 45 to 50 tons of mercury into the air every year.
This mercury settles into water bodies, where it works its way up the food chain and contaminates the fish we eat. Even the best controlled new coal-fired utility boiler will emit more than 100 pounds of mercury each year.

Nitrogen oxides – Nitrogen oxides react with other chemicals in the air in the presence of sunlight to form ground level ozone, or smog. Ozone aggravates asthma and causes lung damage and decreased lung function.

Sulfur dioxide – Sulfur dioxide in the air can aggravate respiratory problems such as asthma and can worsen heart disease. Some older power plants built before 1970 are allowed to operate without the pollution control equipment necessary to control emissions of sulfur dioxide.

Particulate matter – Particulate matter can cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis, reduce lung function, cause breathing difficulties, aggravate asthma and heart disease, and increase the chance of heart attack and stroke. Particulate matter causes thousands of premature deaths every year.

Pollutants from disposal sites infiltrate water supplies:

Arsenic – Arsenic increases the risk of skin, lung, bladder, liver, kidney and prostate cancer. It can also cause liver disease, anemia, gangrene and various skin diseases.

Boron – Boron causes harm to the reproductive system and increases the risk of birth defects.

Heavy metals – This includes metals such as cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, and zinc. These metals can cause a number of health problems, including cancer, nervous system and brain damage, kidney and liver damage, and learning and behavioral problems in children.

“The nuclear fuel released by burning coal has one and a half times more energy than the coal itself.

Because coal powered electric utilities are not perceived to be as hazardous as nuclear power plants, "large quantities of uranium and thorium and other radioactive species in coal ash are not being treated as radioactive waste," Gabbard says.

"These products emit low-level radiation. But because of regulatory differences, coal-fired power plants are allowed to release quantities of radioactive material that would provoke enormous public outcry if such amounts were released from nuclear facilities," he adds.

"Nuclear waste products from coal combustion are allowed to be dispersed throughout the biosphere in an unregulated manner," Gabbard concludes. Such wastes accumulate on electric utility sites and are "not protected from weathering, thus exposing people to increasing quantities of radioactive isotopes through air and water movement and the food chain."

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

bozo: "Oh, come on. Electricity is essential to modern life"

And the most efficient and least polluting way of generating electricity is coal. No fish are endangered by dams. No birds are decapitated by the whirling blades. No fertilizer runoff to cause algae blooms. No depleted uranium to make into bullets. No hydrofluoric acid waste from making solar cells. And no redundant backup generators, because coal is the backup.

Just CO2 and H2O, and tiny trace elements that should be further scrubbed from the smokestack. H2O and CO2 are two of the most important chemicals of the natural living world. What do plants need to live, Bozo? Nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, water, and CO2. They love it.

Put more scrubbers on the smokestack and that plant will cause less pollution than your alternative generators ever will.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Another item of concern is that taxpayers actually provide funding to construct Coal and Nuke plants. They cost wayyyy too much and being toxic exposes such plants to big time law suits.

Taxpayers are the insurance for toxic Nuke and Coal power plants. Too expensive and risky for conventional sources.

Why don't we nationalize energy sources considering our tax dollars plus our electric bills are funding these operations?

Just think if obscene CEO salaries and stockholders were removed electricity rates just might become sensible. Business and home owners would live a break.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Nuke is NOT Clean OR green

http://www.citizen.org/cmep/energy_enviro_nuclear/nuclear_power_plants/articles.cfm?ID=9720

The Case for Renewables and Energy Efficiency

Public Citizen promotes increased reliance on wind, solar, and advanced hydroelectric, and argues that it is technically and economically feasible for a diverse mix of existing renewable technologies to completely meet U.S. energy needs over the coming decades.

These technologies can reliably generate as much energy as conventional fuels without significant carbon emissions, destructive mining, or the production of radioactive waste.

Public Citizen also calls for increased investment in energy efficiency, particularly in geothermal heat pumps for buildings.

Only through aggressive application of existing technologies - and investments in new ones - can the United States make the transition to clean and sustainable forms of energy production that will protect public health, the environment, and move us towards energy independence. AND millions of new jobs!

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Factsheets:

Find out what you can do individually, locally, and state-wide to deal with climate change and move towards renewable energy. Get information about the ability of renewable technologies to meet U.S. energy needs in the coming decades.

What Can You Do to Promote Alternatives?

Renewable Energy is Capable of Meeting Our Energy Needs

http://www.citizen.org/cmep/energy_enviro_nuclear/renewables/

Keith 5 years, 1 month ago

"merrill (Anonymous) says… Another item of concern is that taxpayers actually provide funding to construct Coal and Nuke plants. They cost wayyyy too much and being toxic exposes such plants to big time law suits"

Don't look now, but taxpayers are paying for the local 'green' energy too, in the form of dam construction.

compmd 5 years, 1 month ago

devo,

It isn't 1980 anymore, your statements about wind, solar, and nuclear are no longer accurate.

Megawatt-class wind turbines have slow turning blades that have been proven to be less dangerous to birds than smaller turbines, which conveniently are not what wind farms are comprised of.

Modern nuclear plants don't need to have spent fuel ever leave the facility. Some can even reprocess the fuel for more efficient use of its potential energy. Yet others are thorium cycle reactors, which have safer byproducts over the long term.

HF (in your context) is used primarily for etching in semiconductor fabrication. Amorphous crystalline semiconductor growth requires HF (if any, depending on the process) to clean the substrate mounts. Often HBr can also be used, which is also nasty, but not nearly as dangerous as HF. There are also emerging technologies which use different crystals for semiconductor-based solar panels, which use completely different manufacturing processes that I'm not even aware of. You can go completely out of the semiconductor world and look at solar thermal generation, which heats a transfer medium to create steam to drive a turbine, requiring no HF or HBr.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"And the most efficient and least polluting way of generating electricity is coal. "

Wrong, Devo,

http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/story/983234.html

"Pollution from burning coal to generate electricity costs the United States $62 billion a year, according to a report released Monday by the National Research Council."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, seamus and Keith, I'm sure that after reading your posts here, next time the protestors will realize that if they can't live their lives in the total perfection you expect, they should just stay home and watch reality teevee.

Keith 5 years, 1 month ago

"just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… Well, seamus and Keith, I'm sure that after reading your posts here, next time the protestors will realize that if they can't live their lives in the total perfection you expect, they should just stay home and watch reality teevee."

It will have the same effect.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

What's the point in paying for the most expensive sources of electricity? Nuke and Coal.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Wind About This Technology

Wind is created because the sun heats the Earth unevenly, due to the seasons and cloud cover. This uneven heating, in addition to the Earth's rotation, causes warmer air to move toward cooler air. This movement of air is wind.

Wind turbines use two or three long blades to collect the energy in the wind and convert it to electricity. The blades spin when the wind blows over them. The energy of motion contained in the wind is then converted into electricity as the spinning turbine blades turn a generator. To create enough electricity for a town or city, several wind turbine towers need to be placed together in groups or rows to create a "wind farm."

Reserves The availability of wind power varies across the United States. Areas with the best wind availability include portions of the following states: North Dakota, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Wisconsin, and Oregon.

In general, wind is consistent and strong enough in the Great Plains states and mountain passes in the various mountain ranges throughout the United States to generate electricity using wind turbines.

The Rocky Mountain and Great Plains states have sufficient wind resources to meet 10 to 25 percent of the electric power requirements of these states.

Environmental Impacts Air Emissions Emissions associated with generating electricity from wind technology are negligible because no fuels are combusted.

Wind turbines in areas with little rainfall may require the use of a small amount of water. If rainfall is not sufficient to keep the turbine blades clean, water is used to clean dirt and insects off the blades so that turbine performance is not reduced.

Wind turbines do not discharge any water while creating electricity.

Wind technologies do not produce any substantial amount of solid waste while creating electricity.

Wind turbines generally require the use of land, although they may also be sited offshore. Land around wind turbines can be used for other purposes, such as the grazing of cattle or farming.

When wind turbines are removed from land, there are no solid wastes or fuel residues left behind. However, large wind farms pose aesthetic concerns and wind turbines that are improperly installed or landscaped may create soil erosion problems.

Wind farms can also have noise impacts, depending on the number of wind turbines on the farm. New blade designs are being used to reduce the amount of noise.

Bird and bat mortality has been an issue at some wind farms. Improvements to wind turbine technologies and turbine siting have helped mitigate bird mortality. Research on impacts to bats is now underway.

http://www.epa.gov/RDEE/energy-and-you/affect/non-hydro.html#wind

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

What is the "energy payback time" for a wind turbine?

The "energy payback time" is a term used to measure the net energy value of a wind turbine or other power plant--i.e., how long does the plant have to operate to generate the amount of electricity that was required for its manufacture and construction?

Several studies have looked at this question over the years and have concluded that wind energy has one of the shortest energy payback times of any energy technology.

A wind turbine typically takes only a few months (3-8, depending on the average wind speed at its site) to "pay back" the energy needed for its fabrication, installation, operation, and retirement.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Photovoltaic systems pay back times as low as 1.7 years

The answer to cleaner energy is a "clean energy team" = more than one source = jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs for Kansas.

New UCS Analysis Download: Climate 2030 Blueprint Executive Summary (2009) | Climate 2030 Blueprint Report (2009)

Reducing oil dependence. Strengthening energy security. Creating jobs. Tackling global warming. Addressing air pollution. Improving our health. The United States has many reasons to make the transition to a clean energy economy. What we need is a comprehensive set of smart policies to jump-start this transition without delay and maximize the benefits to our environment and economy. Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy (“the Blueprint”) answers that need.

Cont’t http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/big_picture_solutions/climate-2030-blueprint.html

================================ Hydro Exploiting the movement of water to generate electricity, known as hydroelectric power, is the largest source of renewable power in the United States and worldwide. If done correctly, hydropower can be a sustainable and nonpolluting power source that can help decrease our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the threat of global warming. View the faces working in and supporting the hydroelectric industry or learn more about how hydroelectric energy works. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-hydroelectric-energy.html

================================= Wind Harnessing the wind is one of the cleanest, most sustainable ways to generate electricity. Wind power is also one of the most abundant and increasingly cost-competitive energy resources, making it a viable alternative to the fossil fuels that harm our health and threaten the environment. View the faces working in and supporting the wind industry or learn more about how wind energy works.

================================= Geothermal Heat from the earth can be used as an energy source in many ways, from large and complex power stations to small and relatively simple pumping systems. This heat energy, known as geothermal energy, can be found almost anywhere, and tapping into it is an affordable and sustainable solution. View the faces working in and supporting the geothermal industry or learn more about how geothermal energy works. =================================== Solar Solar energy—power from the sun—is free, inexhaustible, and can be used to directly generate heat, lighting, and electricity. All the energy stored in Earth's reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas is matched by the energy from just 20 days of sunshine. Solar photovoltaic technology is one of the fastest growing energy sources worldwide. View the faces working in and supporting the solar industry or learn more about how solar energy works.

==================================== Faces of Clean Energy http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/faces/faces.html

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"It will have the same effect."

Really, Keith? Just because you apparently prefer to sit on your ass doesn't mean that others who choose to do otherwise will be equally ineffective as you.

"Thanks for the red-herring. I would simply like to know what these people are doing to reduce— or eliminate— their consumption of electricity from the grid."

It would seem to me, seamus, that you are the one throwing out the red herrings by assuming that these people are doing nothing to decrease their electrical consumption. If you want to judge these people on nothing more that assumptions, a far safer assumption is that they are very conservation-minded.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. "

Actually, they do.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Do you suppose these fine citizens rode their bicycles out to the protest?"

I wasn't there, so I can't say how many rode their bikes. I do know that many, if not most, carpooled.

"So, bozo, you advocate sending power over the grid for thousands of miles? "

I advocate the total revamping of our electrical generating system and the grid that transmits it. We also need to become at least 50% more efficient in our energy usage.

What do you advocate?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, we almost agree, Seamus.

I don't think it's necessary to eliminate air conditioning, but I do think that cooling (or heating) huge houses many degrees cooler (or warmer) than outside temperatures, when many of those rooms are vacant most of the time, is a luxury that we can no longer afford.

We'll still need large production facilities, such as wind or solar farms, to provide much of our baseline needs, but with proper conservation and efficiency measures, I think easily 1/3 of electricity needs could be met with very local generation capacity-- the type would vary according to the region, and whether it's rural, urban, etc.

ignati5 5 years, 1 month ago

I stood in this vigil, as I believe the state ought to prevent construction of coal plants in Kansas, but was dismayed to hear some of my fellow , uh... vigilants? ... decrying nuclear energy as well as admittedly dirty coal. As some of these same folk would characterize such liberal bugaboos as the Second Amendment, right-to-life abolitionism, and zero national health care as regrettable instances of American exceptionalism (which they indeed are), I find it myopic, if not hypocritical, for them not to recognize that opposition to nuclear energy is in the same category. Everybody else in the world uses nuclear energy; we should also. Ig

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

bozo, you stepped in it when you admitted that modern life requires electricity.

Everything causes pollution.

Our existence is a modifying influence on the planet. You think that coal is bad. If you believe one study and not another then your are being selective. Your are being discriminatory.

You want one type of energy production against another. They all pollute. The study you site is a fine example of a report with an agenda. The coal industry has their own reports that say different because they have their agenda. Shoulder shrug.

There is no way to tell who is closer to the truth. You feel better about the NRC report because you perceive them to be without agenda. They do have an agenda. Everybody does. Just like everybody pollutes. All this is about who controls the money and sets the agenda. It is all about politics.

The politics of guilt and redemption. Guilt for existing is the "green" motivation. Redemption is achieved by offering ways to salvation. You bought it. I don't. I hope you recieve comfort from your religion.

I don't do guilt, therefore I don't need a religion.

UfoPilot 5 years, 1 month ago

Seamus (Anonymous) says… I advocate local energy sources and radical energy conservation. No more A/C in the summer, no more electric heating devices, etc. Nighttime or windless days should be compensated for with at-home battery systems that power low-voltage DC lighting, fans, etc.

And you use such a system? ........I didn't think so.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"The study you site is a fine example of a report with an agenda."

OK-- what's that agenda?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"you stepped in it when you admitted that modern life requires electricity."

I don't think that noting the obvious qualifies as an "admission."

Just because it's a requirement doesn't mean that the way we use it, and the amount we use, can't be drastically altered. We are a technology-dependent species, but unless we can move away from our current Rube-Goldbergesque technologies, they will surely kill us, not make our lives better.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"reducing energy consumption means giving up certain things. Fans keep you cool and use much less energy than an air conditioner. "

For some, myself included, air conditioning is a luxury that can be done without. For others, it's not just a matter of turning off the AC and turning on the fan.

Rather than cooling (or heating) an entire 4000 sq. ft. house whose rooms are mostly vacant, we'll see the main rooms, if not the whole house, super-insulated, and only that room will be cooled or heated to the temperature range we've come to expect (68°-78°.)

I also think that within 10-15 years, most cars produced will be 2-4 seat plug-in electrics which will be charged by fairly locally generated wind or solar power, and our mileage driven will be cut by 1/3 or more of current levels.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"And somehow my elderly mother-in-law managed to survive in SE Asia in their horrific humidity and heat without even a fan."

People used to live in caves and hunt rats and rabbits with sharp sticks, too.

What the future actually looks like in 10-15 years will depend on how well we can match up our energy use with our ability to generate it in a way that doesn't kill us and/or our immediate descendants. Exactly what the combination of new technology and just doing with less will be is a matter of speculation at this point. That said, I think it's safe to say that we will have to do both.

Keith 5 years, 1 month ago

"just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… “It will have the same effect.” Really, Keith? Just because you apparently prefer to sit on your ass doesn't mean that others who choose to do otherwise will be equally ineffective as you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… I don't think that noting the obvious qualifies as an “admission.”"

As I was saying.....

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

bozo, The agenda is to change modern life.

Changing away from coal to wind, solar, or even nukes is further complexity, not less. The additional complexity that arises from wind and sun is that each must have a backup. Neither solar nor wind is reliable and must have a nuke or hydrocarbon backup system.

Redundancy is not moving away from Rube-Goldberg. It is further complicating the system. You now have to have copper wound generators on a windmill and attached to a steam turbine. When the wind isn't blowing, the coal-fired steam generator kicks in. Double the stuff.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Why would “greenies” want to change modern life? Because they aren't in charge of certain aspects of it. Notably energy. There are many social issues surrounding the money and power that oil-rich countries must deal with. They aren't dealing with them well.

Nigeria, Angola, Venezuela, Middle East, Russia, Indonesia…….its a long list. The traditional cultures of these places are not well suited for wealth. The wealth corrupts their leaders and the regular Joes of the places are treated badly. Oil is perceived as bad. The cultures are not seen as bad (diversity anyone?).

So we must wrestle power away from Exxon, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the latest military strongman in Africa and South America.

Power, bozo. It's all about who is in charge globally. It is tyrants and greedy companies versus collectives.

It is fascism vs communism. Too harsh? Yep, but unless people start to realize that the argument here isn't about technology, but about who is powerful, we will ignore the real obvious thing. Capitalism is the villain. The democratic, people oriented, collective is the agenda of the greenies.

The agenda is erudite, organized and theoretically marvelous. Only it hasn't worked. The collective removes incentive and incentive is what drives people to excellence. The capitalist machine is winding down for lack of initiative. Initiative is reduced because of government controls. We are becoming increasingly dependent upon the government and we are trading our creative, bold, innovative selves for the safety of the collective.

This does not make me happy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"bozo, The agenda is to change modern life."

It's not an agenda-- it's a recognition of the inevitable. Modern life IS going to change. Either we're ahead of the curve and make the coming transitions acceptable to as many people as possible, or we wait until things get really ugly. I choose the former-- you apparently prefer the latter.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

BTW, devo, your last post was eerily close to a religious, agenda-driven screed.

Tony Kisner 5 years, 1 month ago

this was a great event except the stupid wind kept blowing my sign out of my hand.

parrothead8 5 years, 1 month ago

devobrun (Anonymous) says… And the most efficient and least polluting way of generating electricity is coal.

Mm-hmm, yeah, okaaay. Ever heard of coal ash storage ponds?

The power companies are allowed to occasionally release water from these coal ash ponds into the rivers, as long as the arsenic, boron, cadmium, chloride, chromium, iron, lead, manganese, pH and sulfate don't exceed so many parts per million, but I'm sure that doesn't hurt any of the fish in the river.

Also, most coal ash ponds leech waste into the groundwater, which goes on for years because it's much cheaper for them to pay the fines than address the problem, but I'm sure that doesn't hurt any humans or wildlife...or, again, any of the fish in the river.

So, yeah. Coal plants are the coolest. They hardly pollute at all. Just ask the residents of Harriman TN.

thewayitis 5 years, 1 month ago

Westar is spending milions on a system to catch the pollutants going out of the stack when they are actually burning coal.
These people should spend their time trying to invent a better way to produce electricity that will sustain all of our needs.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 1 month ago

You know, we will always have the nut cases and "protesters" with us. They are like crab grass, they will always pop up somewhere to annoy people. Just why the JW feels it important to give these misfits space in their newspaper is beyond me. They are loaded with fervor, misinformation, idiot ideas that will never work, and just plain ignorance and impudence. Why waste time glorifying them? Maybe they ought to be at a job doing some useful work.

blakec 5 years, 1 month ago

One just needs to realize that coal is not renewable, wind is. At some point in the future we will rely on energy sources such as wind, sun and gravity. Why not start now?

bisky1 5 years, 1 month ago

like most progressive ideas it is not about the truth, it's about power and control. for a glimpse of the truth try "The Real Global Warming Disaster’ by Christopher Booker"

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 1 month ago

Crazy protectors want us to live in the dark and burn candles which give off harmful carcinogens.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 1 month ago

If only we could harness the power of merrill's spam.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Mm-hmm, yeah, okaaay. Ever heard of coal ash storage ponds?"

And what is even scarier, the study I cited above

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12794

which estimates the cost of pollution from coal-power plants at $62 billion a year didn't even consider the costs associated with either its contribution to global climate change or the pollution and damage done by mining (including moutain-top removal) and transportation components.

In other words, the externalized costs of coal could easily exceed $125 billion per year.

yankeevet 5 years, 1 month ago

Don't these people have jobs? Where do they get the time too protest? jeeeeeeeeeeezz..........

hipper_than_hip 5 years, 1 month ago

Why isn't Greenpeace demanding that Westar close the Lawrence plant and build an ultra-super critical plant in it's place? An 800MW ultra -super critical plant would add several thousand jobs to our community, and provide enough electricity to shutter at least three of the 1950's-era coal burners.

Coal is going to remain part of the equation, and we should tear down all the old coal burners and replace them with more efficient units. Fewer more efficent units beats lots of old polluting units any day.

puddleglum 5 years, 1 month ago

coal keeps getting a bad rap. it is the only renewable energy source, so people better lay off! if you run out of coal, you go and dig a new coal mine, and you have more coal. everybody winds...get it? speaking of wind, it is too unreliable...the wind might stop for a year or two, and you have no power. so you can't do that.

Douglas Garst 5 years, 1 month ago

For all that oppose Coal Burning Electrical Plants, just how many of you actually experienced living pre-1955 life style?

How many of you lived in a house with no air-conditioning, cooked on a wood stove, trotted to the one or two sitter outhouse in the winter to go poop, heated your home from the wood stove, had to grow a garden so you would have vegetables to can to eat for 9+ months, butchered your hogs and cattle for your years worth of meat for a family of five, and was thankful for two pairs of warm house slippers at Christmas?

If you cannot answer "yes I did" to all of the above, quit bitching about the coal fired electric plants. And if this is not enough then you lack the common sense and deserve to live with the horrors of what we have today. If anyone of you believe that there is enough sunlight and wind to provide "all" of the electrical power for a nation with 300 million people, then please share your secret from the world you came from with the United States of America.

Oh, one last thing...For those that want Clean Energy Now have you walked to work each and every day for the pass year? If not then stay at home and turn out your lights, don't cook on your electric stove, turn off your heat, don't use the electric can opener to open the can of soup that you will have to eat cold.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm not about to read all the comments here.

I bet dollars to donuts these protestors utilize coal powered electricity on a personal level. Talk about hypocrites.

Their bantering around about needing wind energy is funny. They move to central or SW Kansas as there are huge wind powered farms there. Will they do that or remain smug in their "we want when we want it" attitudes?

ylime3499 5 years, 1 month ago

every source we've created to produce energy has it's downfalls... why not spend the time and energy trying to find a solution instead of creating something "a little bit better" (ie wind energy)... and most of the electricty, created by those wind turbines in western kansas, doesn't stay in Kansas!

Patriot2 5 years, 1 month ago

Good thing I'm not in charge out at Westar. The next headline would have read "Terrorist plot foiled!" Thirty aressted for trespassing at power plant!

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