No More Coal!

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There’s no question that Georgia has the technological know-how to dramatically reduce our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. But, rather than tapping in to this potential, utility companies are lining up in Georgia for a sprint in the wrong direction.

Recently, a new power plant was proposed near Macon Georgia. This plant will pollute our air and water, increase global warming pollution, and cost billions of dollars that could have been spent on energy efficiency and renewables.

Thankfully, it is not too late. States all over the country are making the decision to stop the construction of dirty and costly coal plants in favor of cleaner solutions.  Currently, Georgia’s energy future is far from bright: over 2/3 of our energy comes from coal burning power plants, we use 25 percent more electricity than the national residential average, and our population has increased by about half over the last two decades but our energy use has gone up even more – by 76 percent – in the same time. This excessive energy use, most of it from dirty and dangerous sources, has left us with a legacy of air and water pollution, public health impacts, and the threat of global warming.

In early 2008 a coalition of utilities announced plans to build a 800 MW coal-fired power plant in Washington County, near Macon, GA. Along with smog and mercury pollution the plant would use 16 million gallons of water per day at its peak and produce 6-7 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, the global warming equivalent of 1 million more cars on the road each year in Georgia.

The plant is also a financial risk. Experts predict global warming regulations will make carbon dioxide an expensive by product. It could increase the costs of the Washington County coal plant by hundreds of millions of dollars. The reality is solutions like energy efficiency will cost less and create more jobs for our local economy.

States like Texas and Kentucky are saying ‘no’ to more coal-fired power and pollution but only because citizens are standing up and demanding a cleaner, cooler and cheaper energy future. With your help we can demand that our leaders in Georgia and Washington DC invest in clean energy and not coal in Georgia.

Source: Environment Georgia

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