Bridgeport Generating Station

By Cooper Verhalen

The question who gets what, why, and how much, often boils down to class and race. The environmental burdens that are associated with the United States’ addiction to coal powered energy falls onto communities of color in an undeniable trend. An example of this disproportionate environmental racism to communities of color is the Bridgeport Harbor Generating Station in Connecticut. The high emissions coal power plant is located in Connecticut’s second poorest city, inserted right between the cities poorest parts[1]. These two parts are Bridgeport’s Downtown and South End, whose populations consist of more than 87% people of color and averaging an income of $11,400[2]. I will show that the proximity of these residential sectors to the generating station has caused adverse health in the communities because of its emissions of toxic pollutants and its disregard to adhere to common safety practices.

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Water view of Bridgeport Generating Station

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Gibson Generating Station, IN

Written at SFSU in 2017

The United States is a powerhouse when it comes to coal generated power. About 65% of the power we generate comes from fossil fuels[4].The Gibson Generating Station located in Indiana is just one of the many coal based power generating sites that contribute to these statistics. Built as a two unit coal fired power plant in 1972, it continued to grow into the 90’s when it finally became a five unit site[5].

In this article I will illustrate the energy injustice happening in the area surrounding the Gibson Generating Station and the connection to the resource curse theory.

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Gibson Generating Station during the night.

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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.

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Fukushima Daiichi Disaster

Written at SFSU 2017

On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9 earthquake right off the coast of japan caused the fission reactors of the nuclear power plant to shut down which wouldn’t have been a problem if the following tsunami didn’t shut off the backup generators[1] the power plant had. This lead to 3 nuclear meltdowns resulting in the biggest nuclear disaster sense Chernobyl[[2]. Hopefully this article will show that due to negligence of the Tokyo Electric Power Company or Tepco has become a resource curse for the people of the Fukushima prefecture.

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Fukushima Daiichi incident 

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Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project, India

By Peter Liao, SFSU, 2017

About 1/3 of India’s population lives without electricity[1]. In 2005-06, the Indian Ministry of Power proposed developing coal-powered Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) to generate large amounts of low cost electricity[2]. The first UMPP to be commissioned was the Mundra UMPP on the Gulf of Kutch in Mundra in the state of Gujarat[3]. The Mundra UMPP was built on the coast for two reasons: to utilize seawater for cooling, and for better access to cheap coal from Indonesia[4]. Since the beginning of its construction in 2007, the Mundra UMPP has damaged the Kutch coast[5]. I will show that there are energy injustices at Mundra that arose through intentional neglect caused by discrimination.

Image: Tata Mundra UMPP. Joe Athialy, August 18, 2011. 

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Fairfield Renewable Energy Power Plant and Resource Recovery Project, Curtis Bay, MD

by Andrew Brummer, Colgate University, 2016

Energy Answers International, a private energy company based in Albany, New York, is currently building the nation’s largest waste-to-energy incinerator in Curtis Bay, Maryland. These types of power plants emit numerous different pollutants, including conventional greenhouse gases, particulate matter and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury[1]. Not only does Curtis Bay already have some of the highest levels of pollution in the nation[2], but the site for the incinerator is less than one mile away from the Benjamin Franklin High School and the Curtis Bay Elementary School[3].

A mock-up of what the Fairfield Renewable Energy Project will look like once it is completed. (Energy Answers International, 2015)

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Three Gorges Dam, China

Three Gorges Dam, one of the most impressive energy-related projects undertaken by the Chinese government in the last decades, has caused a great amount of controversy because of its environmental and socio-cultural impacts. Some of the issues caused by this massive hydropower plant include land degradation, an increased risk of flooding, and the resettlement of 1.27 million people[1].

Pedro Vásquez Colmenares, Three Gorges Dam. July 18, 2007, Digital Image. Available from: Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pvcg/3412711352 (accessed November 28, 2014).
Pedro Vásquez Colmenares, Three Gorges Dam. July 18, 2007, Digital Image. Available from: Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pvcg/3412711352 (accessed November 28, 2014).

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