Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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Writing in The Intercept about Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to head the EPA, Sharon Lerner notes,
Southern Coal is a division of Southern Power, which has been co-party in four of Pruitt’s 14 suits against the EPA. (A Southern executive, L. Ray Harry, contributed to Pruitt’s 2014 re-election fund.) An EPA investigation of Southern Coal found numerous violations of the Clean Water Act at its mines in Appalachia, which according to EPA records impacted waterways, killing fish and endangering the health of local communities. The EPA’s response, which included instituting preventive measures, data tracking, and training of mine workers, cost some $5 million and eliminated an estimated 5 million pounds of pollution from being released into local waterways.
At over 19 million tons per year, Alabama Power's Plant Miller, a Southern Company power plant located northwest of Birmingham, is the No. 1 emitter of carbon dioxide in the US.  At almost 18 million tons per year, Georgia Power's Plant Sherer, another Southern Company power plant located near Macon, is the No. 2 emitter.  Georgia Power's Plant Bowen near Cartersville (northwest of Atlanta) contributes another 12.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.  Together, these three plants  alone contribute about 50 million of the US's staggering total of 3 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere (source: EPA).

Instead of working to find innovative solutions to reduce these emissions, the Trump Administration has instead nominated the man who sued the agency 14 times, and who was backed by the very polluters on whom the EPA should be enforcing their standards and limits.


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