Ethereum Mining Woes in the Pacific Northwest

Ethereum Mining Woes in the Pacific Northwest

When the last ice age fell and the coal mining industries began draining rivers at high rates, it wasn't exactly news that the situation could ever change.

The first major Arctic Report card released this month, released April 18 by the U.S. Forest Service, paints a grim picture of the Pacific Northwest, where mining has stalled in recent decades, including declining mining levels and falling fuel efficiency. It's not just a big problem in the region. In fact, the federal government predicts nearly $6 billion in increased coal mining capacity across the Pacific Northwest since 1950.

"Now we just have a great opportunity to start investigating the impacts of climate change and human health." - National Resources Defense Council

"The report says that coal is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the Northeast. It shows that the coal mine boom, and the impact of its operation, have had an environmental and economic benefits. There are over 1,800 new mines, mainly in California's Sierra Nevada National Park, while mining companies have increased the use of electric vehicles, leading to an estimated 10,250 jobs at the highest rate. "It is not just coal to blame, but also fossil fuel based feedstock for coal combustion."

"The effects of coal mining activities, including mining and burning of coal at high rates, are more direct than coal power generation. For example, burning coal from coal feedstock also may cause particulate air pollution and a heat wave. These effects could be especially devastating to the very areas with the worst air quality in the country. As the report said, coal mining may also reduce climate change effects in local communities and the economy."

The report's authors write, "Coal industry expansion, especially coal mining, could increase greenhouse gas emissions and air and water quality in low-income communities as mining technologies grow in North and South America." In a previous MyEcoBlog story, I wrote in 2017 about mining unions and the environmental impact of mining, but there is no mention of mining operations in the report.

The report concludes by saying that: "The Arctic Report Card shows how the industry is not only rising but also reaching economic opportunities, and making economic and environmental advantages across other sectors."

This is a major surprise for anyone who has been following a sustainable path. As a former coal mine retiree in Indiana said, "Coal, like most coal mining uses electricity from coal farms in the United States, is responsible for half of U.S. coal production and three-quarters of U.S. coal's environmental impact. Every mine has a unique impact on the environment, and the only way to mitigate this loss is by actively reducing the emissions generated."

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