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Table 2 Energy ethics cases

From: Energy decisions within an applied ethics framework: an analysis of five recent controversies

1. The Dakota Access Pipeline provides potentially safer transport than by train but risks contaminating water for communities across the Great Plains, including a Lakota Sioux reservation. Should the pipeline have been built?
2. The Navajo Generating Station coal plant and Kayenta Mine in Arizona have become uneconomic to operate but have provided jobs and revenues upon which the Navajo and Hopi communities have critically depended for decades. Should the plant and mine have been closed?
3. Fracking for natural gas has revitalized Washington County, PA, which has struggled since steel mills were closed decades ago but threatens the county’s drinking water. Should fracking continue?
4. A moratorium against uranium mining in Virginia leaves one of the country’s potentially largest sources of energy untapped due to fears of radiation poisoning and dwindling nuclear energy market. Should the ban be lifted?
5. Flood control, irrigation, and abundant clean energy can all be addressed through a megadam such as the Xiaolangdi Dam along the Yellow River in the Henan Province of China, but it caused 200,000 people to be displaced and tremendous social and environmental damage. Should the dam have been built?