Duke Energy's Beckjord generating station glows in the night in New Richmond near Cincinnati and the Ohio River. Coal-fired power plants are the single largest U.S. source of global warming pollution and are killing tens of thousands of Americans, poisoning our air and water, and making our children sick.
Last night, Duke Energy was responsible for yet another spill into a river. During a fuel transfer at the Beckjord Power Plant, about 5,000 gallon of oil spewed into the Ohio River. The most alarming part about this spill is that it occurred about nine miles upstream of the drinking water intake for the City of Cincinnati and surrounding areas. While the Coast Guard moved swiftly to shut off intake valves, this could put drinking water for over two million residents at risk.
If all of this sounds familiar, its because about six months ago Duke Energy was responsible for one of the worst coal ash spills in the nation. For two weeks, toxic coal ash spewed into the Dan River in North Carolina. Duke CEO Lynn Good promised that Duke would clean up all of the ash and wouldnt leave till it was resolved. Unfortunately, only 8% of the toxic ash has been removed from the river and Duke Energy would like to pass the cost of clean up on to ratepayers.
Spill after spill with no responsibility. We can't trust Duke.
The Ohio River is an important part of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Many people use the river for recreation, business, transportation and drinking water. Its a shame that just four months before Beckjord is slated to close a spill like this would happen.
While this may have been a routine fuel transfer, Duke Energys continued burning of fossil fuels puts communities at risk. All over the country communities, like Charlotte, are rising up and taking the use of solar into their own hands, because they agree that solar is better for their pocketbook, health and planet.
Kate Melges is an oceans campaigner based in Seattle. She helps lead Greenpeace’s sustainable seafood campaign. Kate’s focus is pushing U.S. canned tuna brands to provide sustainable and ethically sourced tuna.