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Broken Government, dirty energy style

December 10th, 2008 · No Comments

The Center for Public Integrity‘s Broken Government project has just put online a report and searchable database of 125 executive branch failures that merit serious attention and, well, Change.

Subjects include:

And, well, 100 other quite serious arenas.

Is there any surprise that there has been no robust, sustained alternative energy policy?

The United States meets less than 3 percent of its electricity needs with wind, solar, and other forms of alternative energy. In contrast, Denmark meets 20 percent of its electricity needs with wind, while Spain has reached 9 percent and Germany and Portugal, 7 percent. The Philippines have tapped into geothermal for 28 percent of their power. Yet those countries do not have the resources of the United States, with the blustery expanse of the Great Plains, the clear desert skies of the Southwest, and enough heat stored in underground rock that scientists believe it could produce 2,000 times America’s annual power consumption … Washington, instead, has taken the politically easier course of supporting renewable through tax breaks, leaving the programs constantly at risk over federal budgetary concerns. 

The devastation continues as Mountaintop Coal Mining Alters Appalachia

Mountaintop Coal Mining Alters Appalachia: Image In 2002, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers cleared the way for a resurgence of environmentally damaging mountaintop coal mining, using a rule change that legalized filling valleys with debris. The result: the drive for low-cost coal is blasting the peaks off the Appalachian Mountains and forever changing the lives of the people beneath them, who say that federal policy to boost energy production has forsaken the environment. In mountaintop removal, the coal industry uses explosives to blast away summits that expose seams of coal, and huge machines push the debris into the valley below. It puts fewer miners at risk than traditional underground mining. But across Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated — in a report produced as part of a lawsuit settlement — that mountaintop removal has filled in some 1,200 miles of streams and completely destroyed another 700 miles. 

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Tags: Energy