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Where does the Drake coal emissions plume go when you’re not watching?

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- We've seen the mapping of areas most vulnerable to the toxic emissions of Drake, our downtown coal plant. In particular we've learned that freezing temperatures mean that emissions aren't dispersed according to best laid plans but instead linger in the neighborhoods to the southwest. What does that look like? Recent cold temps have afforded a glimpse. That mist in the morning in Ivywild and the Broadmoor hills is setting a mood which affects your mental health more than you know.

Will Act of God close Drake coal plant?

[FULL TEXT OF LETTER SUBMITTED TO CS INDEPENDENT MAY 14] Two years ago Colorado Springs lost 346 homes to the Waldo Canyon fire which precipitated floods expected to haunt the westside and Manitou for years to come. The next year saw a wildfire in Black Forest that took an unprecedented 500 homes. That's unprecedented for Colorado, although with global warming it's certainly a portent of cataclysms to follow. You'd think two fires in a row might have motivated city leaders to seize the chance to act on climate change, and not just symbolically. By coincidence Colorado Springs Utilities had been equivocating about whether to reinvest in an aging coal-fired power plant located in the center of town. Imagine how we might have redeemed our city's national reputation if Colorado Springs had announced a decision to close the Drake coal plant, prompted by wild fires to reduce the burning of fossil fuels! Instead the utilities board laid out only long term options, most to sustain Drake, and only one which included a token investment in renewable energy. This year saw another coincidence. This is of course conjecture on my part. Seeing his two previous acts unheeded, local favorite God surprised everyone with a third fire where Colorado Springs backward thinkers would be sure to get the point. Last week the Drake coal plant itself caught fire, certainly the least expected and most poetic of global warming victims. We're told it's going to take over a billion dollars to bring Drake back online. I've got an idea and I'm not even religious. LET'S CLOSE IT! Let's spend that billion on a solar array or a wind farm! Naysayers should be ashamed to pretend we don't have a plentitude of both. It's too late to convince the world we're brilliant, let's show we're not idiots. The collective decision to act on climate change begins at home if you have a publicly owned coal-fired power plant. Communities across the world have stopped burning coal, are we with them or against them? The Drake coal plant didn't just spew carbon, its emissions included lots of toxins we were forced to breath. Heart disease and asthma were two measurable harms which any doctor could attribute to Drake, scrubbers or no scrubbers. The coal ash accumulating south of town is another threat altogether, of which the recent ash spill in North Carolina serves as a heartbreaking warning. Even if we reinvest a billion in Drake, we have several months of clean air and cleaner consciences to think more clearly about it. This summer America the Beautiful Park will be the healthiest it's been in fifty years, when the old "cloud-maker" got its start. On the other hand, wouldn't it be a shame not put every next penny into renewable, sustainable, healthy energy, starting with this first billion? I'd like to think people can decide to save the environment for their own health and for their children, but if it takes an Act of God to close Drake, so be it.

Colorado Springs Drake Power Plant

CLEAN COAL SPRINGS- Apparently it's not the dirtiest coal-fired power plant in the country, defenders insist DRAKE is only half that dirty. That's an interesting benchmark. Clean enough for horseshoes.

Colorado Springs power plants not among world’s 200 dirtiest by much

Good news, Colorado Spring's main power plant is not among the world's 200 biggest carbon offender power plants. But our neighbors are. One quarter of the world's dirtiest power plants (53) are in the US. All in red states, because the uneducted are the new black. Actually in the West many of these coal plants are foisted on the Indians, the enduring black. Colorado Springs is surrounded by: LARAMIE RIVER, Wheatland, Wyoming at 15 million tons of carbon INTERMOUNTAIN, Delta, Utah at 16 million CRAIG, Colorado at 12 million NAVAJO, Page, Arizon at 20 million SAN JUAN, New Mexico at 12 million MONTICELLO, Mount Pleasant, Texas at 18 million WELSH, Pittsburg, Texas at 12 million LA CYGNE, Kansas at 11 million (For the record, the worst offender is the TAICHUNG plant in Taiwan, which emits 40 million tons of carbon every year. Clean plants emit 0.) Falling short of ranking in the 200 worst, surrounding Colorado Springs, are: CHEROKEE, Denver, Colorado at 5 million COMANCHE, Pueblo, Colorado at 5 million HAYDEN, Colorado at 4 million PAWNE, Brush, Colorado at 4 million Carbon emissions ratings are based on a plant's efficiency relative to its intensity. On an interactive map offered by Carbon Monitoring For Action (CARMA), the dirty plants are in red, the clean in green. The mainstream media is working off of maps offered by Forbes magazine, not CARMA's. Notice the Forbes article sponsor is Shell Oil, who's leading the effort to extract oil shale, an ugly alternative to coal. But don't be fooled by Forbes' interesting omissions. Colorado Springs is red. The three plants operated by Colorado Springs Utility fall into the dirty category: DRAKE, Colorado Springs, 80903 at 2.3 million RD NIXON, Fountain, at 1.8 BIRDSALL Colorado Springs, 80907 at 0.1 That's right, the "cloud maker" located at Colorado Springs' center, is squarely in the red, pollution wise. A model of Clean Coal. Considered relatively cleaner are: FRONT RANGE POWER, Fountain, Colorado at 1.2 million FOUNTAIN VALLEY, at 0.2 million WN CLARK, Canon City, Colorado at 0.4 million LIMON, at 0.1 million Clean: COLORADO SPRINGS WICKS at 0 TESLA, Manitou Springs, Colorado at 0 NORAD, at 0.03 million

Colorado Springs own cloud maker

Last week's POWER SHIFT 09, where 12,000 student environmentalists converged on Washington, culminated with a protest of a DC power plant which still produced 40% of its electricity from coal. A threatened largest act of mass civil disobedience pushed Washington legislators to order the plant converted completely to natural gas. What a contrast to the awareness level in our own Colorado Springs, where the city wraps around a single coal power plant which consumes two coal train loads a day, its billowing stacks, local moms describe to their kids, give it the name "cloud maker." From a Capitol Climate Action PDF: Ten Problems with Coal 1. Coal Fuels Global Warming Coal is the largest single source of global warming pollution in the United States. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that global warming threatens human populations and the world’s ecosystems with intensifying heat waves, floods, drought, extreme weather, and by spreading infectious diseases. Furthermore, it is conservatively estimated that the climate crisis will place a $271 billion annual drag on the U.S. economy alone by 2025. According to the IPCC, the United States and other industrialized countries need to reduce global warming pollution by 25–40 percent by 2025 to avoid the most severe impacts of the climate crisis. 2. Coal Kills People and Causes Disease According to the American Lung Association, pollution from coal-fired power plants causes 23,600 premature deaths, 21,850 hospital admissions, 554,000 asthma attacks, and 38,200 heart attacks every year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 12,000 coal miners died from black lung disease between 1992 and 2002. 3. Coal Kills Jobs The coal industry is one of the least job-intensive industries in America. Every dollar we invest in coal is a dollar we can’t spend creating jobs in the clean energy economy. In fact, the country’s wind sector now employs more workers than the coal industry. Investing in wind and solar power would create 2.8 times as many jobs as the same investment in coal; mass transit and conservation would create 3.8 times as many jobs as coal. 4. Coal Costs Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies The U.S. government continues to subsidize coal-related projects despite its impact on health, climate and the economy. 5. Coal Destroys Mountains Many coal companies now use mountaintop removal to extract coal. The process involves clear-cutting forests, using dynamite to blast away as much as 800–1000 feet of mountaintop and dumping the waste into nearby valleys and streams. Mountain-top removal has leveled more than 450 mountains across Appalachia. Mountain-top removal destroys ecosystems, stripping away topsoil, trees, and understory habitats, filling streams and valleys with rubble, poisoning water supplies, and generating massive impoundments that can cause catastrophic floods. 6. Burning Coal Emits Mercury Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of man-made mercury pollution. Mercury can interfere with the development of babies’ brains and neurological systems. Elevated levels of mercury in Americans’ blood puts one in six babies born in the United States at elevated risk of learning disabilities, developmental delays, and problems with fine motor coordination. Already 49 U.S. states have

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