Coal Blooded-Putting Profits Before People

A survey report of a large number of coal power plants in US (as forwarded below) has a huge relevance to Indian power sector. A 2000 report on power plant pollution in US is reported to have found that all power plants in the U.S. (both coal and other fuel sources) are responsible for 30,000 premature deaths, 7,000 asthma-related emergency room visits, and 18,000 cases of chronic bronchitis each year. These numbers must be much higher in India, because of lax regulations and dense population.

Find the Coal Blooded Report here:  http://naacp.3cdn.net/22fd5e74c971eefa8c_76qm6t9dy.pdf

Of the 431 coal power plants surveyed under this report 90 were declared as failing plants. The report say that shutting down the 90 failing plants that scored an “F” grade would reduce U.S. power production by only 9.2%. This amount that could easily be substituted by increased energy conservation and renewable energy production. The key point is that doing so would reduce the number of Americans living within three miles of a coal plant by 58.4% and therefore reduce thousands of hospitalizations, deaths, and incidents of illness in the affected communities.

The terms “increased energy conservation and renewable energy production” caught my attention. Many reports have been advocating for such an approach in India too.

What the report states is that while shutting down the seriously inefficient coal power plants will not impact the power scenario by considerable margin, the same will benefit the project affected communities greatly in the form of reduced health and environmental impacts. The same sites can be used to set up environmentally benign renewable energy power plants such as solar power plants.At a time when the availability of fresh water to our communities has become a critical issue, the retirement of all such inefficient and failing coal power plants will release a huge quantity of fresh water for community usage.But such an approach requires a diligent attitude by the concerned authorities towards the overall welfare of our communities. Can we hope for such diligence from our authorities in India?It seems high time that our civil society consider launching such a survey of coal power plants in India.

Find the Coal Blooded Report here:  http://naacp.3cdn.net/22fd5e74c971eefa8c_76qm6t9dy.pdf

 

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