The following open letter to the state's elected officials appeared in yesterday's Florence Morning News. Here's hoping they listen to this reasonable man.
Compromise should be reached on power plant
Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 - 04:00 AM
By Christopher Goss, Florence
I am pro-power, and I am pro-jobs. However, I ask that you please listen to those voicing concerns about the proposed power plant and work together with them and Santee Cooper to reach a compromise acceptable to both parties. As our elected officials, you have been chosen to lead based on your ability to make wise decisions now in anticipation of future events. This type of pulverized-coal plant in the Pee Dee’s mercury triangle is simply a bad idea both now and in the future.
As a chemist, I am concerned about the increased levels of methylmercury and DHEC’s refusal to at least test people and establish a mercury baseline from which one might see the power plant’s impact on our citizens’ health. As an outdoorsman, I am appalled at the lack of concern for our polluted rivers and lack of signage to educate the public how polluted our rivers are. However, it is as a fiscal conservative that I vehemently oppose the current plan. How can we let our public utility make such a horrible business decision under our watch? Just this week, George Bush has changed his stance and says he wants to rapidly slow the growth of power sector greenhouse gas emissions.
McCain, Obama and Clinton all hold more aggressive stances supporting mandatory limits on greenhouse gases. Face it. In the future, there will be carbon taxes and/or mandatory emission caps on nearly all the pollutants this type of plant releases.
Even the fair and balanced Fox News aired an ICCR article warning investors that coal is losing its appeal as a predictable investment and is instead fraught with uncertainty.
Building this type of pulverized-coal plant now costs 100 percent more than it did in 2002 and there appears to be no end to the skyrocketing costs.
Make no mistake. As said above, I am definitely pro-power and pro-jobs. Let’s just have some common sense and hold a public utility accountable for wanting to build a plant now that will face serious construction costs and delays and be prohibitively expensive to maintain and operate in the future.
There are other smarter alternatives that will create more, better jobs and cleaner electricity. After all, privately-held Duke Power and Progress Energy both have enough foresight to move past this type of pulverized-coal plant.
Please just listen and do what’s best for all parties involved.
After all, that’s what we elected you to do.