Each year, an average of 24,000 Americans die as a result of pollution from coal-fired power plants, including 2,800 from lung cancer. This is more than are killed by drunk drivers. These plants dump thousands of pounds of mercury and other toxic compounds into the air and water, and are the largest source of global warming pollution in the country.
Children are particularly susceptible to these types of pollution, in addition to being the ones who face the true threats of climate change. So how is it that coal is such a large part of our national energy mix?
It’s simple: In just the first 8 months of 2010, the coal industry had already given more than $13 million in campaign contributions to candidates for federal office ahead of the mid-term elections. Like the oil industry, the coal industry wields massive influence because of its deep pockets, and uses that influence to ensure no new regulations are passed that might force polluters to pay the true cost of their dirty business.
What can you do?
Find out if your representative or Senator is accepting dirty money from coal and oil. There's a great resource from Oil Change International, DirtyEnergyMoney.com, that allows you to see how much money the people elected to represent you have taken from polluting industries.
Armed with this information, write to your members of Congress and demand they vote in the best interests of the American people, not in the interests of their corporate donors.