While coal-fired power plants are notoriusly dirity, some are a lot worse than others. They are usually the older plants.

One that has long galled me is the old, but big, 4-corners power plant near the Four Corners area of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. It spews its pall over the scenic canyonlands country and the Grand Canyon, and as the article indicates, is a prime example of environmental racism because it was imposed on an area with a lot of poor Native Americans (along with still other coal plants, strip mines, and leaky natural gas wells).

Story. 50 Dirtiest Power Plants. ENS

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to 50 Dirtiest U.S. Power Plants Named

  1. avatar Phillip D. says:

    Let’s convert these to nuclear power plants.

  2. avatar Eric says:

    It’s a testament to the power of natural systems that the area around southern Lake Michigan still thrives after about 100 years of some of the heaviest industry anywhere on the planet -as far as I know. I’m referring to the northern Indiana plant and the surrounding region. Most of the big steel mills of the south side of Chicago are long gone, but there are still big ones in Gary and Burns Harbor, Indiana as well as big refineries in Whiting and East Chicago, Indiana. Nonetheless, that whole area still attracts a lot of wildlife. Of course it attracts industry too and now there’s a controversy surrounding a permit for BP to expand and start dumping even more sludge into the lake. The resilience of the ecosystem there is nothing short of remarkable. At least that gives me hope. It’s not canyonlands in the 4 corners though. I would say they are probably a lot more fragile.

  3. avatar Eric says:

    As an afterthought I can only imagine the splendor the area I’m referring to above used to possess. It’s all but gone now. We wouldn’t have won WW2 without those steel mills. Yet, because of its location, wildlife still use it heavily to this day. It’s a unique place. It has been a favorite hunting ground of native Americans for thousands of years and Abe Lincoln was fond of it too. Hopefully one day it can be restored to some semblance of its former glory.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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