GEO: How has this site’s energy system marked, transmuted, destabilized and harmed this setting? How, where, and what kind of traces of this harm are being observed, recorded, mitigated/exacerbated?


Enter a comma separated list of user names.
James Adams's picture
June 25, 2019
In response to:

Swearingen’s (2010) account of the mainstream environmental movement in Austin documents which of Austin’s “green spaces” were successfully and unsuccessfully protected from development and from the deleterious effects of nearby industries. However, Tretter (2016) and Busch’s (2017) studies provide a necessary supplement, documenting how the Austin’s lesser valued spaces (which are mostly populated by communities of color) have been routinely polluted both by residential waste (location of trash dumps) and industrial off-gassing (Sematech and Motorola plants). It is unclear, however, from these accounts whether or not, or to what extent the Austin landscape has be marked by its energy system in particular.

During preliminary research, I witnessed numerous residents of various professions attest to the impact of Austin’s coal plant (Fayette) and natural gas plant (Decker) on Austin’s air quality. During my time in Austin I will be conversing with locals about the impact of Austin’s power generation on the local landscape as well as travelling throughout the city, observing the landscape, visiting energy production sites and Desired Development Zones.

According to a study by Environment America, Texas is by far the highest emitter of airborne mercury, with a total of 11,127 in 2010 (Madsen and Randall 2011). Ohio, the next highest emitter, produced 4,218 pounds. Texas has 6 of the top ten mercury producing coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

Neak Loucks's picture
June 24, 2019
In response to:

The geology of southern Utah shapes how this area has been identified as a place of resource extraction, and the presence of coal and petroleum deposits shape political and economic interests in public lands debates. The geologic history of the area created prime conditions for petroleum deposits, particularly in southeastern Utah. These geologic conditions have created significant uranium deposits as well. Much of the coal, oil, and uranium extracted from Utah is sent for use elsewhere, although there are a number of petroleum power plants in the area. This geologic setting is part of what puts Utah, and specifically southern Utah, on the national map regarding how public lands should best be managed, and whether energy companies should receive leases for activity on public lands.