Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Endangered Rivers

You can tell when an NGO has issued a press release that decries what they hope to convince you is the great new threat to the Bay,  The story gets picked up by multiple outlets, and similar stories appear in a number of similar forms.  In today's example, the group American Rivers has just released its list of The 10 Most Endangered Rivers.   On this list, , at #1, the Susquehanna.  This press report was picked up by the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, the Pottsville Republican Herald!, The Gazette-Virginian,  and WSLS10.  The list:

America’s Most Endangered Rivers 2011

  1. Susquehanna River (NY, PA, MD) — Threat: Natural gas extraction
  2. Bristol Bay (AK) — Threat: Massive copper and gold mine
  3. Roanoke River (VA, NC) — Threat: Uranium mining
  4. Chicago River (IL) — Threat: Sewage pollution
  5. Yuba River (CA) — Threat: Hydropower dams
  6. Green River (WA) — Threat: Exploratory drilling and mine development
  7. Hoback River (WY) — Threat: Natural gas extraction
  8. Black Warrior River (AL) — Threat: Coal mining
  9. St. Croix River (MN, WI) — Threat: Rollback of longstanding protections
  10. Ozark National Scenic Riverways (MO) — Threat: Overuse and poor management
Notable is that energy extraction is considered to the threat in 6 of the 10, including the two examples from the Bay, fracking in the Susquehanna watershed, and a possible uranium mine in the Roanoke.  I have been following the fracking story for some time now, and it seems to me that the potential threat of fracking to the Susquehanna and the Bay have been grossly exaggerated.  At this point the threat from uranium mining is entirely hypothetical, the state of Virginia has not yet lifted it's 1982 ban on uranium mining in the State.  No details are provided as to why the uranium mining would be a threat, but plenty of vague warnings about uranium tailings and possible water contamination.

Are these people totally opposed to energy extraction?  As near as I can see they reflexively object to anything that might provide an alternative to the absolute worst possible source of electric power, coal burning.

No comments:

Post a Comment