We care about the hardworking men and women of Chautauqua County. Unfortunately, the end result of today’s announcement will be a shuttered NRG power plant. This win for environmental extremists will leave us with a weakened economy and higher taxes. We must come together and find the commonsense solutions to meet our energy needs, use natural gas to reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern crude oil and create the quality, family-sustaining jobs our region needs. — Tom Reed
- Should NRG be allowed to walk away from their obsolete plant, or should they be required to tear it down and clean up the lake shore site?
- Are only “environmental extremists” concerned about our planet, or should we all be concerned?
- Lower local taxes for some at the expense of others? Is this fair?
- Is the only “common sense solution” to burn gas?
- Relatively few workers are needed to staff a power plant. The jobs will move elsewhere, not disappear.
Should decisions about power generation be made by experts or by politicians? For this author, the answer is clear.
Power plant water discharges are filled with toxic pollution such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and selenium—heavy metals that can cause neurological and developmental damage, cause harm in utero, damage internal organs and cause cancer. Power plants are the biggest sources of water pollution in the country, yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not reviewed regulations for this industry in more than 30 years.
“Every site has a different set of issues, and the difficulty is that, in the clean-up process, everybody would like someone else to pay,” says Howard Learner, president and executive director of the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Poverty Center. “The company says we are closing it down, so we are doing our part and we shouldn’t have to pay. The re-developer doesn’t want to because it doesn’t make economic sense for them.”
“What’s more, older coal plants are not necessarily located in places served by natural gas pipelines. New pipeline construction, accounting for rights-of-way acquisitions, metering stations, compressors, and other costs, can itself reach more than $1 million per mile, adding millions of dollars to the conversion, when a new plant integrated into existing natural gas infrastructure.
The business that created the pollution should be responsible for cost of clean up – they made the profits, while polluting for free.
If Tom Reed is even mildly acquainted with science, he appears quite willing to bury it deeply, since as he said at a town hall meeting recently – “What should we do, go back before the Industrial Revolution? Ha ha ha!”
Apologies – the second citation listed should have been this: