In preparation for SF/SC's FIRST MEETING TUESDAY, at 10:15 pm in the Commons Gatehouse, I've been researching where MICA's electricity comes from. Ilovemontains.org, a website run by 7 anti-coal grassroots organizations, allows you to see your connection to mountaintop removal using Google Earth. You just type in your zipcode, and ilovemountains.org pinpoints the powerplants in your region of the grid that are using coal obtained via mountaintop removal. These plants are then connected to the actual mountains being mined. In MICA's zipcode region (BGE's grid), two coal-fired power plants are using mountaintop removal coal: Brandon Shores and Herbert A Wagner, both owned by Constellation Energy and located in Anne Arundale County. Above are shots of 6 of the 7 mountains in West Virginia that our coal comes from, as viewed using Google Earth. Crazy, huh?
How about some good news? The EPA just announced that all 79 mountaintop removal permits submitted by the Army Corps of Engineers would violate the Clean Water Act. (Under the Bush administration, the EPA failed to block any such permits.) We're not out of the woods yet - the permits can be revised and resubmitted any time in the next 60 days, but it is encouraging to see that Lisa Jackson's EPA is willing to take a strong stand against coal. To find out more, check out Bruce Nille's article on Grist