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Re: E-M:/ Love mountains? Hate coal!

Enviro-Mich message from "Anna Dorothy Graham" <grahama9@msu.edu>

Eastern coal, from Appalachia, is essentially the dirty, high sulfur coal -- western coal is cleaner. Tunneling into the side of mountains is probably the best for the environment, but bad for the miners -- dangerous. Of course, a decent level of regulation, impossible under Bush, would help. There is essentially no way to use coal that doesn't have one drawback or another, although much can be done with stack scrubbers. God knows the Bush administration doesn't have the answers.

Seems to me the best answer is to turn away from coal as much as possible.

Does anyone know where the southern low-sulfur Western Coal mined from? Is one method less destructive to the environment than another? Is there a method to find out exactly where ones' coal comes from , and to what degree a homes electricity is powered by coal? I have asked DTE and they either do not know, or are unwilling to share.

Just curious. Thanks.
In a message dated 11/30/2007 12:50:48 PM Eastern Standard Time, ajs@sagady.com writes:

I saw the site about mountaintop removal and the search engine to look for Michigan plants that use mountaintop removal coal.

What that site doesn't tell you is how much mountaintop coal comes to each power plant as a proportion of total coal use at any given power plant.

As a result, the depiction of the reliance on mountaintop coal for Michigan power plants can leave a misleading impression, in my opinion, since a number
of Michigan power plants import large amounts of coal from the powder river basin in Wyoming-Montana area. That mining region doesn't feature mountaintop mining, although it has its own unique type of problems.

Detroit Edison uses lake freighters to bring large amounts of western coal to several of its coal fired units from a rail terminal at Superior, WI. Some of these units blend western coal with southern low sulfur coal. Last time I looked at this many years ago for the DE Monroe Power Plant, for example, they were using 10% southern coal and the rest was
western coal.

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Anna Kirkwood Graham, J.D., Ph.D.
"There is no trifling with nature; it is always true, grave and severe; it is always in the right, and the faults and errors fall to our share."
-- Goethe

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