Thursday, January 17, 2008

Moratorium in the Heartland

A news roundup as the notion of a coal moratorium gains salience nationally and regionally:

Of course, this week, Democratic Candidate John Edwards announced that he would support a moratorium on new coal plants (even going so far as to oppose Santee Cooper's Pee Dee coal plant).

It is worth noting that the Black Hawk County Board of Health has also backed a coal moratorium in response to a proposal for a new coal plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The health board cited air pollution, most notably particulate matter, as their rationale for supporting the ban. Breathing particulate matter, or extremely fine soot, leads to asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, decreased lung function in children, heart attacks, inflammation of lung tissue, lung cancer, and premature deaths. They also cited carbon dioxide pollution, which drives global warming, and mercury as reasons for their decision.

In opting to voice their support for a coal moratorium in Iowa, the health board was following the recommendations of an independent, statewide study conducted at the University of Northern Iowa. There report is available here (part I) and here (part II).

South Carolinians interested in the facts should reqeust an independent, academic-quality study of Santee Cooper's proposal too.

Finally, Iowans have been responding to a poll on KWWL TV that poses the question: "Do you support a statewide ban on coal plants?" Click here and scroll down the page to view the poll and its results. They may surprise you.

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