In a similar vein as the "Energy Cocktail" tool produced by the Powering a Nation project we wrote about in December, the Union of Concerned Scientists has produced a snazzy online tool as a follow-up to its “Burning Coal, Burning Cash” report released last year which details how utilities in three dozen states are spending tens of billions of dollars to import coal.
The “Who’s Got the Power” web component features an interactive map that allows you to see for yourself how much money your state’s utility companies have been spending to import coal. In some cases, states are paying to bring in coal at the same time they’re shipping out renewable energy products, such as biomass pellets.
By allowing people to engage directly with this information, UCS hopes to continue to build grass roots momentum for challenging dirty energy investments.
"Unfortunately, we're letting utilities decide for us where our money should be spent—and they're not making smart or clean decisions," one of the slides reads. "They're sending our money out of state, buying dirty coal, and shipping off our clean energy resources overseas."
The feature also has a quiz that tests your knowledge of the costs of burning coal and the potential of clean energy investments.
Check it out here.