Skip to comments.POWER PLANTS CITED AS CHIEF CAUSE (of soot deaths)
Posted on 06/10/2004 6:43:00 AM PDT by toddst
Kentucky is No. 2 in the nation in the estimated rate of deaths caused by soot from coal-fired power plants, according to a report released yesterday.
The other states in the top five, including No. 1 West Virginia, all border Kentucky.
"Dirty Air, Dirty Power" was produced by an advocacy group called Clear the Air. It says soot, also called fine particle pollution, cuts short the lives of nearly 24,000 Americans each year. In Kentucky, the estimated toll is 745 deaths a year.
The problem is especially bad in Kentucky and neighboring states because coal-fired plants dominate the region, said Angela Ledford, Clear the Air's director.
"We used to think 'Oh, that pollution blows away, so, it's going to affect people in the northeast,'" Ledford said. "But per capita, you're having more severe impacts because of living near those plants."
More than 3.3 million of Kentucky's 4 million residents live within 30 miles of a power plant, the report says.
The report, which advocates stricter pollution controls than those supported by the Bush administration, was immediately attacked by the electric power industry, which supports the president's policy.
"This report, like its list of tired predecessors, cherry picks and distorts the science related to particulate matter and health effects," said Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for Edison Electric Institute, an industry association.
He said "some of the most comprehensive research" linking soot to health problems suggests that power plants aren't the source of the problem.
Ledford said, however, that Clear the Air relied on the same research methods used by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The estimates of health effects were determined by Abt Associates, a consulting firm used by the EPA.
Dirty Air compares the Bush administration's "Clear Skies" program with several other proposals for dealing with power plant pollution, including one championed by Sen. James Jeffords, I-Vermont.
Neither plan has been able to attract a majority in Congress.
Environmentalists say the Clear Skies plan would be less stringent than the Clean Air Act and give power plants longer to comply.
Riedinger, the industry spokesman, disputes that also. He says the administration proposal, which would use a "cap and trade" method to encourage pollution reductions, could mean a faster cleanup.
The Dirty Air report says implementing the Jeffords bill would avoid 22,000 of the estimated annual 24,000 power plant-related deaths.
The Bush plan, the report says, would mean more deaths than a faithful following of the Clean Air Act.
Although no plan has won enough congressional support to become law, the EPA is requiring Kentucky to weaken air quality regulations, said Tom FitzGerald of the Kentucky Resources Council.
The numbers for pollution-caused deaths in Dirty Air are based on computer models that take into account how much pollution plants release, readings by air quality monitors, and studies that link pollution with health problems.
That method screens out pollution not related to power plants. So California, which has plenty of dirty air from automobile exhausts, fares much better than Kentucky in the Dirty Air report.
California's estimated deaths from power plants is 249, a third of Kentucky's 745.
And the most dangerous city, in terms of per capita deaths from power plant pollution, is not smoggy Los Angeles, but Wheeling, W.Va.
In addition to deaths, the Dirty Air report says, power plant pollution also causes increased numbers of heart attacks, hospital visits, asthma attacks and lost work days.
Riedinger said Dirty Air is "designed to scare the public, impugn the power sector, and undermine the administration's pollution-cutting programs."
Ledford said she hopes it stimulates discussion on an air quality debate that has been largely ignored.
"I think what we've seen in the last four years is a huge step backwards, even in the way we're talking about it," she said
They need to change "soot" to "radiation", keep the rest of the report the same, and watch how people freak out.
Close them all down, let the people live in the dark - or would that cause even more deaths?
More proof that the loons would prefer the human race to revert to cave man days. First the fight any nuclear plant construction and then they complain about the current technology. Just like gas prices, they can't live with their own policies.
What the report lacks in mention of a direct link, proof that these individuals died from soot from the power plants and nothing else.
It is all the fault of President Bush. Doncha know?
Overblown by the environmentalists, IMO.
Actually, I'm not a prophet or a seer. I just do good science and apply logic and reason, which is something beyond the abilities of most environmental whackos.
I was expecting some report about how a load of soot had been accidentally dumped on someone at least. There are a lot of horses in Kentucky too, may be that's the cause of death.
since the article and this study is drawing correlations, I thought I would too
This reminds me of the lawsuit from North Carolina against the Midwest for sending smog to his state.
I read an article in the WSJ, last week, that said Clean Air Act is supposed to be the next campaign issue that the Democrats are going to hit Bush with, just like arsenic in the water.
But critics said the study -- completed by Abt Associates, Inc., the company that analyzes air pollution strategies for the Bush Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- unfairly focused on power plants,.....
Yep, and this article is one of the opening salvos. "George W. is compromising our health" will be their drum-beat. What garbage.
Oh, well then, let's not build anymore of those. People are just going to have to stop using electricity.
What did they say about refineries?
Don't get me started on this subject. Limited refining capacity is the primary cause of price and supply problems in the U.S. Crude has little to do with price increases. Thank you very much Bill Clintoon and friends!
If the oil industry had some incentive (tax breaks) to increase their refining capacity AND less regulation from the anti-oil EPA pukes, our gasolene prices would drop like a stone.
Nuclear is the way to go.
Yes, but it is so easy to counter this. You simply say, Of course we must continue to make power plants cleaner. But that does not mean we have to turn out the lights. The Democrats want to shut down the power plants. Their only solution for the disruption, for you being without power, is that you will have to adjust your lifestyle.
But we can have clean power and abundant power so long as we use our technology and take a well reasoned instead of a fanatical approach to energy and environmental issues in America.
As an additional note: We could make far more progress in air quality if we focused for a bit on the air blowing into the U.S. from other countries. Our power plants are 99% of the way there. Getting to 100% is a very, very expensive proposition. For far less money we could help countries like Mexico, China and Germany to stop polluting so much. And the improvement to world air quality would be far greater.
It is not just a matter of where we can get the most effect for the dollar spent. It is where we can have the biggest and fastest impact on the problem of worldwide air pollution.
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