在紐約的Niagara Mohawk's Dunkirk蒸汽站一輛鏟煤車，此一燃煤發電場產生60萬瓩的60赫電力(照片提供 大衛•帕森攝影，國家再生能源實驗室) 。
美國超過55%的電力是由燃煤所產生的，然而境內超過600座燃煤發電廠並未符合空氣清淨法（Clean Air Act）所明文規定的空氣品質標準。事實上，早在1990年老布希總統主政時所通過的法案，就已經將它們特別排除在此規定之外。
亞利桑那州的Black Mesa，是霍皮族印第安保留區及數千名納瓦伙族人的家園。皮博迪集團（Peabody Group）想要在此擴張露天煤礦，美國政府就帶頭強制搬遷那些原住民；甚至早在1863年之前他們已居住於此，當時美國騎兵曾試圖消滅這裡所有的族人。這個地區於是成為破壞地球的濫用資源倫理的典型例子。
我們會毀了將來 (上) (下)
Environmental News Service 版權所有 (環境資訊協會 鄧國光 譯，李欣哲、蔡麗伶 審校)
By Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.
We have a beautiful
Her green lap
Her brown embrace
Her blue body
-- Alice Walker
The modern day American system of governance has an attribute that the founding fathers of our country may not have anticipated. Today, the primary qualifications for assuming public office seem to be personal wealth and a vested interest in major industries. So, the people making life or death decisions for the American people, their children, and the children of tomorrow, are increasingly becoming the least qualified to be making those judgments.
The last few weeks have seen members of the new presidential administration deciding that levels of arsenic pollution that have been endorsed by the World Health Organization are too low for Americans.
People whose last science class was years ago in college are telling the world's health professionals that since such controls would be a burden to polluting industries, they will not be implemented.
President George W. Bush (Photo courtesy the White House)
President George W. Bush, who believes global warming is a fad, has gone against the scientists and leaders of the world by directing the United States to leave the negotiating table for the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas limitation agreement. He has told the world that the U.S., the largest producer of the planet's greenhouse gases, refuses to be part of the solution because it would hurt our economy.
The U.S. has less than five percent of the world's population, yet we produce nearly 25 percent of the world's waste, hazardous substances, and greenhouse gases.
The president also closed the White House special offices on AIDS policy and race relations and, in a move that has stunned women's groups, announced he will not reopen a special White House office on women's issues.
In the wake of President Bush's decision to renege on his campaign promise to require coal burning power plants to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, he has imperiled our health and compromised the future of people all over the world.
The door has now been flung wide open for energy companies to increase investments in a form of fuel that most of us had hoped was on the way out. The U.S. government is embracing coal, the dirtiest form of fuel, and energy producers around the country have begun expanding this archaic, filthy form of power generation.
Moving coal at Niagara Mohawk's Dunkirk steam station in New York. This coal-fired station produces 600,000 kilowatts of 60 cycle power. (Photo by David Parsons courtesy National Renewable Energy Lab)
Over 55 percent of the nation's electricity is generated by the burning of coal. Yet more than 600 coal fired power plants around the country don't meet the air quality standards mandated by the Clean Air Act. In fact, they are specifically exempted from the mandates of the 1990 law, passed during the administration of President George Bush, the present President's father.
A large percentage of the coal used in these plants comes from strip mines on Indian Reservations that are so huge, they can be seen from Earth orbit. Since 1974, the Mojave Generating Station and the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona have been polluting the world's air. The Mojave Generating Station alone uses 18,240 tons of coal per day at full load. Combined, the two plants require 12 million tons of coal a year and are the largest polluters in the country. Astronauts saw the pollution cloud from these coal fired plants from the Moon!
Black Mesa, Arizona, home of the Hopi Indian Reservation and several thousand Navajo is a classic example of the abusive ethic that is destroying our world. Because the Peabody Group wants to expand its coal strip mine, the U.S. government has been leading the forced relocation of the native people who remain at the site, a place they have inhabited since the U.S. Army tried to wipe them all out in 1863.
The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona (Photo courtesy of Northern Arizona University)
Nearly 12,000 native people have been forcibly moved from their tribal lands to a contaminated site in New Mexico, home of the largest radioactive waste spill in U.S. history. Efforts continue to remove the remaining 3,000 people, mostly elders, from Black Mesa. This is but one rarely mentioned legacy of coal.