Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump's EPA rethinks coal ash rules. We add some other modest proposals.

Trump's post-Scott Pruitt EPA, now run by a former coal industry lobbyist, is releasing new, rollback rules that will ease restrictions on coal ash storage even if it's close to water. 
The rule will allow coal ash impoundments that are at risk for leaks — including ones within five feet of groundwater or in wetlands or seismic zones — to continue operating beyond April 2019, when they were slated to close. Instead, they may remain open under the new rule until October 2020.
Now before everyone goes ballistic, let's look at the upside.

For one thing, EPA has been working on carbon sequestration.

So if people ingest some coal ash in their drinking water like the people in Kentucky and North Carolina whose water was contaminated by coal ash, well, the rule change just might kill those two birds, and beyond, with one coal-black stone, no?

Team Trump could expand its use of people as convenient carbon sequestration units by looking at pelletized or finely-ground coal ash (a powdered chocolate substitute, or just add water, and stir) as a nutritional replacement for some of the food aid Trump wants to reduce.

Remember, your body is about 18% carbon, and some coal ash samples contain as much as 23% carbon by weight, so there you go - - and good on the Trumpians if they do the math and craft the policies and don't let good carbon go to waste.

Bonus idea: Coal ash can be added to concrete, so why not build the entire Southern border wall with awesome tonnages of coal ash repurposed? #MAGA.

Admittedly, these are just few modest proposals, and for that inspiration I want to thank both WI GOP Governor Scott (Jonathan Swift) Walker for his history of  "modest, modest" proposals, and journalist Bill Lueders for memorializing it.

You burn coal, you get coal ash, and then what?

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