Greenpeace Semester students and local volunteers display a banner in front of the Potomac Generating Station.
I’m from Virginia. Dumfries, Virginia to be exact. Virginia is coal country. I grew up with our local coal plant destroying air quality, poisoning the water, and bringing those long coal trains to town. Though the Possum Point Generating Facility switched to natural gas some time ago, there are still a lot of legacy issues — at least the coal trains don’t come anymore.
But that facility isn’t what’s on my mind right now.
Coal is dirty. There is no getting around it. The hype in recent years around “clean coal” amounts to little more than a greenwash campaign from an industry responsible for climate change, mercury poisoning, asthma and a number of other health and environmental effects.
This month, I am embarking on a trek to document the damage caused by this dirty energy source. I will be taking you along on my journey so that you can see for yourself how coal is harming people and the planet.
My trip will take me to Australia, China, Indonesia and Thailand. The cost of coal in these countries was revealed last year with the release of Greenpeace’s report, True Cost of Coal. My visits are intended as a follow up to that report as I will be visiting the very same areas to see how the struggle against coal continues.
So stay tuned! You’ll hear more from me in a minute.