Thursday, April 12, 2012

Inside Amos

My most recent blog entry dealt with a couple of coal-fired power plants along the Ohio River. Last Tuesday, I got to go inside the John Amos power plant along the Kanawha River when U.S. Senator Joe Manchin was there to talk about coal.

Here's Manchin during a news conference. The big stack you see was taken out of service when the scrubber system was added. The precipitators on the stack still work, but rather than the smoke going up the stack, it goes from the precipitators to the scrubber. Behind Manchin you can see smokestack emissions that are heavy with water vapor.

And here, if I put my camera on the right object, is a scrubber. I was told the metal in this contraption is a very expensive alloy, possibly nickel, because it has to withstand a lot of corrosive material.

I first met Manchin in 1996, and our paths crossed a few times until the 2004 governor election. One day he was making a campaign stop in Huntington, and I was waiting for him outside a restaurant. While I was waiting, a bird delivered a package on my forehead. Someone went inside the restaurant to get a couple of paper napkins so I could wipe the stuff off. I don't remember anything else about that day.

Six days later, I was sitting on a concrete wall at Harris Riverfront Park along the Ohio River when a bird got me on my pants leg.

What a week.