Friday, January 9, 2009

Turning a Blind Eye

It’ll be nice to have a functioning EPA again:

The Environmental Protection Agency eight years ago said it wanted to set a national standard for ponds or landfills used to dispose of wastes produced from burning coal.

The agency has yet to act.

Eight years, huh? That’s a pretty telling number.

The notion that the Bush Administration neglected an issue that would have been uncomfortable for the energy industry will surprise no one. The idea that if the Bush Administration had bothered to act, the TVA ash disaster in East Tennessee might have been averted will be lost on deliberately blind-eye Republicans like Rep. Zach Wamp.

Once again the Bush Administration failed to foresee or prevent a disaster that they had been explicitly warned about. Leaving President-elect Obama to deal with this:

Millions of tons of toxic coal ash is piling up in power plant ponds in 32 states, a practice the federal government has long recognized as a risk to human health and the environment but has left unregulated.

An Associated Press analysis of the most recent Energy Department data found that 156 coal-fired power plants store ash in surface ponds similar to the one that collapsed last month in Tennessee.

Only 11 more days until the White House is once again the head of the federal government instead of its primary obstacle.

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