coal toxins, energy giants, ash cleanup, costs
The author writes, “As one of Georgia Power’s top environmental lobbyists, Mark Berry had a clear mission on a rainy day in April 2019: Convince five energy regulators that the company’s customers should foot the bill for one of the most expensive toxic waste cleanup efforts in state history. When Berry became Georgia Powers vice president of environmental affairs in 2015, he inherited responsibility for a dark corporate legacy dating back to before he was born. For many decades, power companies had burned billions of tons of coal, dumping the leftover ash — loaded with toxic contaminants — into human-made ponds that were larger than many lakes.” Photo credit: Ins1122 / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Half of Republican Men Say They Don’t Want the Vaccine. They’re Mooching Off the Rest of Us (Reader Steve)

From the Los Angeles Times: “Millions of elderly Americans are still hunting for appointments to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Millions of younger Americans are waiting impatiently for their turn in line. But there’s one group whose members are far more skeptical about the vaccine — and in some cases are actively refusing to get jabbed at all. That group is Republicans, especially GOP men.”

Oil Firms Knew Decades Ago Fossil Fuels Posed Grave Health Risks, Files Reveal (Gerry)

The author writes, “The oil industry knew at least 50 years ago that air pollution from burning fossil fuels posed serious risks to human health, only to spend decades aggressively lobbying against clean air regulations, a trove of internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal. The documents, which include internal memos and reports, show the industry was long aware that it created large amounts of air pollution, that pollutants could lodge deep in the lungs and be ‘real villains in health effects,’ and even that its own workers may be experiencing birth defects among their children.”

Doctors Found Jet Fuel in Veteran’s Lungs. He Can’t Get Full Benefits. (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The lungs Bill Thompson was born with told a gruesome, harrowing and unmistakable tale to Dr. Anthony Szema when he analyzed them and found the black spots, scarring, partially combusted jet fuel and metal inside. The retired Army staff sergeant had suffered catastrophic lung damage from breathing incinerated waste burned in massive open-air pits and probably other irritants during his tour of duty in Iraq. … The military has not linked the burn pits to illness. That means many who were exposed to burn pits and are sick do not qualify for benefits under any existing program.”

Where Are Those Shoes You Ordered? Check the Ocean Floor (Dana)

From Wired: “Since the end of November, this is some of what has sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean: vacuum cleaners; Kate Spade accessories; at least $150,000 of frozen shrimp; and three shipping containers full of children’s clothes. ‘If anybody has investments in deep-sea salvage, there’s some beautiful product down there,’ Richard Westenberger, chief financial officer of the children’s clothing brand Carter’s told a conference recently. You can blame the weather, a surge in US imports tied to the pandemic, or a phenomenon known as parametric rolling.”

This Mat Lets Your Dog Text You When It Needs to Go Out (Mili)

The author writes, “If you regularly take your dog out through the same exit, he’s probably conditioned to head there when he needs to do his business. That’s where the BarkingMat comes in. Place the BarkingMat by the door. As soon as your dog steps on it, you’ll receive a notification. It’s like your dog is texting you from the other room, letting you know when he needs to take care of business.”