Monday, June 15, 2009

When "National Security" Means Local/Regional Insecurity

Before the coal-ash "dam" at the Kingston TVA Plant collapsed:

The same place, the day AFTER the dam's failure:

Remember that coal-ash "dam" that washed away a couple of score of square miles in Tennessee? The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston plant. It killed a couple of folks, really fouled up the local homesteads and farms, the landscape, the wildlife, and the river system for some miles downstream...which included some pretty big towns and some pretty big, important rivers. That was but one of 44 such dams scattered across the country. The EPA won't reveal their locations, however, for reasons of 'security.' This, according to a story on the Grist weblog, by Sue Sturgis.

And that's hardly 'transparency,' of course.

Because the security concern is kinda spurious.

You know why?

Well, for one thing, I betcha they wouldn't be that hard to find, ya know?

Telltales would be something profound, like: Huge, stone buildings, with numerous, stout wires radiating, to the deep, resonant hum of steam fired generators spinning massive turbines and tall plumes of steam spewing inito the sky. Served by roads. Manned by people. Probably, there's a phone number. Hiding in plain site...

Oh, and a river or a stream.

That's NOT gonna be that hard to find.

And somewhere around any one of them big, smoky, steaming, humming things, you're going to find a big, deep pond enclosed by coal ash.

And that'll be another one off the list...I betcha a determined person could get 'em all found in a summer.

Really. Especially with GPS.

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