Monday, November 9, 2009

The cost of autosprawl: coal externalities

The subsidy of autosprawl is broad and deep. It is much more than direct taxpayer handouts, "cash for clunkers", $30 billion in road stimulus money...etc. The costs of fossil fuels, the auto, and sprawl are very high, but the prices have been kept low. The difference is externalized costs - a subsidy by force. Here are some of the costs of coal that the builders of car-only-accessible, spread-out, individually-heated-and-cooled, taxpayer-bank-bailed-out homes do not have to pay:

Tales of damaged homes, of contaminated water supplies, of divided families and communities. Accounts of severe flooding, of sludge and coal ash spills, of alarming asthma and cancer rates.
These stories represent the true costs of coal being paid by the citizens of Kentucky—indeed, by all of us gathered here, regardless of region—a price due in large part to mountaintop removal mining. Jason Howard-On the Margins

No comments:

Post a Comment