- Published: Wednesday, 27 February 2013 04:27
- Written by Seandra Rawls-Pope
Electricity is an essential component of our every day lives – brightening our rooms, cooking our food, charging our phones and computers, keeping our homes the right temperature, running factories and stores. But here in Georgia, significant amounts of the electricity for our homes and businesses (62% in 2011, though the amount was lower in 2012 and will likely continue to fall) come from ten coal-fired power plants, nine of which are over 30 years old and many of which lack modern pollution controls. While producing the electricity we use, these plants also produce 168,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants each year, leading to more than 500 annual deaths in Georgia alone. Some pollution is released into the air, while some is stored in coal ash lagoons, where it can leach toxic heavy metals into nearby water. These true costs of power coming from coal are often hidden as silent dangers to our health and environment. We are excited to bring these equity issues around electricity costs into the very timely conversation Partnership for Southern Equity is leading about equity in Atlanta.