December 29, 2011 Issue


On Plant Washington

Dear Editor:

On the heels of the EPA’s tougher emission standards for coal plants, the Fall-line Alliance for a Clean Environment (FACE) filed an appeal on the air permit issued for Plant Washington. Local citizens and EMC members should know that Power4Georgians has repeatedly and publicly misled the public and EMC members about the pollution from their dirty proposal.

Their claims that Plant Washington will be the cleanest coal plant in the state are patently untrue, as several citizens reminded the EPD in public comments opposing the air permit. The plant’s permit allows for mercury emissions at a rate 36 times higher than the proposed EPA safeguard allows, in addition to 11-45 times more hydrogen chloride than the anticipated EPA standards allow. That is completely unacceptable to citizens who expect the EPD to protect our health and natural resources. We know that mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin, so we must ask the question: is P4G ignoring the science, or do they simply not care about our health?



Last week LS Power canceled a proposed 1200MW coal plant in Early County and their reasons included many of the same ones that FACE and our partners have cited for 3.5 years: reduced demand for electricity, no contracts with power purchasers, rising cost of construction, tougher emission standards, competition from other suppliers and lower costs of natural gas.

In addition to these sound reasons to abandon Plant Washington, the Cobb EMC Board of Directors is expected to include Plant Washington in a forensic audit (that is the tracking and collection of forensic evidence, usually for investigation and prosecution of criminal acts such as embezzlement or fraud).

Cobb EMC member Mark Hackett, who once headed Power Supply Planning and Power Trading at Oglethorpe Power, has raised these questions: “When a company the size of LS Power cancels a plant in Georgia for economics, you have to ask, why does P4G think their plant will be economically viable? LS Power is big in coal. They do a lot of coal construction. P4G hasn’t built any coal plant, anywhere, ever. Doesn’t that beg for a harder look at Plant Washington?”

Hackett has also asked the very same question FACE has been asking about the lack of an economic report in support of the plant. “Because we say it is good” isn’t a business plan or study in sound financial investments. Plant Washington is a boondoggle that is bad for our health, the taxpayers of Washington County, our fragile water resources including the already mercury contaminated Ogeechee River, and the members of Washington EMC. It is time to stop pursuing a project that will line the pockets of a few and cause hardship to the majority.

Katherine Cummings
FACE Executive Director, EMC member, Washington County taxpayer

Replace every one

Dear Editor:

We must have “wholesale change” in our House of Representatives. This means your congressman, too! In a recent poll of American voters, 76 percent said members of Congress don’t deserve re-election but of these same responders, 53 percent said their own representative should be re-elected.

How can this be? This is reminiscent of a poll, in which a large number of Frenchmen were asked, “Do you think you are an above average lover?” The number who responded yes: 92 percent!

Certainly there are at least several hundred people in your district, besides the incumbent, who would serve admirably in the House of Representatives. The incumbent has questionable baggage; party allegiances, re-election desires and unknown involvement with lobbyists. Why not give someone else a chance who doesn’t carry any such baggage?

We should all concentrate on anyone but the incumbent in our own district. We should all vote in the primary of the incumbent’s party and vote for someone other than the incumbent. If there’s a GOOOH candidate available (see www.goooh.com), he/she would be the best choice; otherwise “anybody but the incumbent!”

We must all be serious about change in our own congressional district and make it happen.

Glen Terrell
Arlington, TX


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