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(8,994 posts)
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 07:59 PM Dec 2011

The new EPA regulations and this persistent "cheap energy" meme...

Why do we, as liberals, not stand up to this "Obama equals the end of cheap energy" meme?

There is no such thing as cheap energy. There never was to begin with.

Traditional coal, even "clean" coal, is highly expensive in ways you don't see on your energy bill. We're talking mountains of proof that coal energy poisons our rivers with mercury, and that's even before you get to the store and see the additional proof in the form of mercury warnings - ALL of that is because of coal power plants!

There are more mountains of proof about the connection between coal power plants and health risks, not to mention the radioactivity of the coal itself once it's burned.

And, if you live in Tennessee, you no doubt recently bore direct and personal witness to the clean-ness of "clean coal".

Why aren't we bombarding the airwaves with this? We're going to let the Republicans convince America that we're abandoning cheap energy when it was never cheap to begin with. AGAIN. ARGH.

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The new EPA regulations and this persistent "cheap energy" meme... (Original Post) Zalatix Dec 2011 OP
Actually, energy is ridiculously cheap Gore1FL Dec 2011 #1
Wait, do batteries and solar power panels generate mercury? Zalatix Dec 2011 #3
yes Gore1FL Dec 2011 #4
The highest price: deaths of coal miners. eppur_se_muova Dec 2011 #2


(20,948 posts)
1. Actually, energy is ridiculously cheap
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 09:29 PM
Dec 2011

It's the act of harnessing it and storing it that is expensive. We aren't good at harnessing it. Storing it is where we have the worst problems.

Coal, wood, natural gas, oil, et al, are awesome batteries. Unfortunately, they share environmental issues with their copper-top brethren. Until we can make the copper-top variety more environmental and close to hydrocarbons in storage capacity nothing is going to change.

Until we solve the storage and the harnessing issues, we are going to rely on dead plants and animals.

We could solve both storage and our collection/conversion abilities with a little research, but we quit doing that sort of thing in 1981 when the United States decided it was better to quit dreaming and not do things.

Bottom line: If we are going to use "cheap energy" as a term, it is "Ronald Reagan that equals the end of cheap energy"



(8,994 posts)
3. Wait, do batteries and solar power panels generate mercury?
Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:15 AM
Dec 2011

Are any of the pollutants generated by solar power/battery power airborne? Does it make it into streams? Poisoning crops and fish?


(20,948 posts)
4. yes
Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:22 AM
Dec 2011

That's my point.

Edited to add link:


The health of hundreds of millions of people is affected and millions die because of preventable pollution problems like toxic waste, air pollution, ground and surface water contamination, metal smelting and processing, used car battery recycling and artisanal gold mining, the "Top Ten" report found.


(36,194 posts)
2. The highest price: deaths of coal miners.
Thu Dec 22, 2011, 12:11 AM
Dec 2011

not to mention deaths due to overloaded coal trucks:

From 2000 to 2004, there were more than seven hundred accidents involving coal trucks in Kentucky alone; fifty-three people died, and more than five hundred were injured.


ETA: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=115&topic_id=56976&mesg_id=57059

(notice the trucks in the video driving over bridges w/10-12 ton limits)
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