Earlier this week West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said the following about whether people should be drinking the water in Charleston and downstream: "It's your decision. ... I'm not a scientist." For the 300,000 people affected by the coal chemical spill from two weeks ago, I bet that's very reassuring.
The Clean Water Act is one of our nation's greatest statutory achievements. But 40 years after the Act was passed, the coal industry is still polluting with impunity, thanks to a loophole that no other industry enjoys.
On December 14, the White House is expected to release updated safeguards for soot and other fine particulate matter, requiring coal plants to cut back the amount of soot pollution they pump into our air. The regulations are modest, but would go a long way in making our communities healthier and safe.
The photos and videos in "The Cost of Coal" had a powerful effect on me. Watching kids suffer with asthma and other breathing issues triggered by air pollution, I imagined how painful it would be to see my own toddler daughter struggle to breathe.
A big Senate vote this week will determine the fate of mercury safeguards that continue to garner overwhelming support from Americans nationwide. These long overdue safeguards are poised to protect millions of Americans from dangerous air pollutants.
The Sierra Club has just launched a new series of videos underscoring how truly ridiculous it is for the coal industry to claim coal is safe and harmless.
This summer, air pollution levels have been through the roof. The EPA is currently updating our smog standards, and we need to ensure they finalize stronger protections for our families.