Cherokee Station Coal Power Plant

Written at SFSU in 2017.

Cherokee station is a coal power plant located in Denver, Colorado[1]. Within its 3 mile radius, it’s affecting the nearby residential areas and polluting tons of carbon at a time[2]. I will show that the energy injustices at this site arose because of environmental racism and show what they did to change their way of living.

plant1

Cherokee station has been open since the early 1900s[3]. Ever since the power plant has been causing environmental injustice towards marginalized people. The group that is involved is low-income, mostly poor, Latino and African American[4]. These groups have been affected negatively and they are now in the phase of shutting down and making a more environmentally friendly energy source producing power plant[5].

The energy injustice within this site is the coal-burning fuel that it’s using to create power for the city of Denver.

Problems:

  • Its pollution is causing many health issues. So it’s essential to create a new energy source for producing more clean energy that won’t produce so much carbon emissions and so many health problems. [6]
  • Living conditions and low-income families live in cheaper housing so issues like financial, health and environmental are brought up[7].
  • These small particles can end up in our lungs and from there they can start to see more issues with the lungs[8].
  • Its dangerous for the people of younger and older age[9]. It can also impact those that have natural born respiratory diseases[10].

The energy injustice arose because of Environmental Racism which refers to socially marginalized racial minority communities which are subjected to disproportionate exposure from pollutants, the denial of access to sources of ecological benefits (such as clean air, water, and natural resources), or both[11].

Effects:

  • low-income and they live in bad areas[12].
  • There are 61,000 people within a 3-mile radius of the plant[13].
  • 64.4% of the population is non-white[14].
  • Locals are protesting to cut and create a better overall environment to live in[15].
  • If there’s no voice, leadership and/or political power then there no chance of change within the communities for better air quality[16].

The City of Denver was unaware of the issue at hand until they protested and fought back[17]. For example, people were dressing up as clowns to protest against the global warming. The local had to step up there game and gain a good standing ground against the owner of the power plant that’s causing these environmental problems[18].

The Results:

  • The locals pushed themselves to try and achieve a standing ground against the owner and operating company that is causing all of these environmental problems[19].
  • Locals made a strong appearance and urged the officials of Xcel energy to stop[20].
  • Now the site will undergo a big remodeling stage and site will retire old units[21].
  • Emission numbers will reduce[22].

Finally, as the state of Colorado passes a new act, the clean air-clean jobs act, Xcel energy will make future plans for a plan to reduce pollutants like nitrogen oxide and co2 emissions from coal units by about 80 percent[23].

References:

[1] Cherokee Generating Station. (2017). Press conference. Retrieved from  https://www.xcelenergy.com/energy_portfolio/electricity/power_plants/cherokee.

[2]Cherokee Generating Station. (2017). Press conference.

[3]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference. Retrieved from  https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Cherokee_Station.

[4]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference.

[5]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference.

[6]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference.

[7]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference.

[8]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference.

[9]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference.

[10]Cherokee Station. (2017). Press conference.

[11]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29). Xcel’s Cherokee plant in midst of major changes. Retrieved October 16, 2017, from http://www.denverpost.com/2013/07/12/xcels-cherokee-plant-in-midst-of-major-changes/

[12]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[13]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[14]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[15]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[16]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[17]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[18]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[19]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[20]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[21]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[22]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

[23]Jaffe, M. (2016, April 29).

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