…ye who enter the Turk plant.
Last Thursday in Hope, Arkansas there were two meetings. One was widely attended, the other was not… mostly because hardly anyone had heard of it.
They hadn’t heard of it because it snuck in under the wire, with barely (if at all) the proper notices and alerts. It was a quorum court meeting, and on the agenda was a motion to approve a bond issuance “not to exceed” $185,000,000. Aside from one dissenting voice of sanity, the motion was passed.
It was passed without allowing anyone to comment, and upon only one reading.
Hempstead County and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation are now investors in the Turk Coal Plant, meaning residents and taxpayers are now on the hook for nearly 200 million dollars.
Why do they need this public backing? Coal’s dirty little secret is that it is on the way out, and everybody knows this. Power plants are constructed with a budget to pay off the cost of the plant over 20 or 30 years. Coal will soon become so economically unviable that these plants will be forced to close, leaving taxpayers and bondholders to pick up the check. How incredibly irresponsible.
Meanwhile, across town at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, I and a few hundred other people were cramming ourselves into the library to listen and submit comments to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). They were holding a public hearing regarding mercury and other HAPs that the Turk plant will be emitting.
Employees from the plant were there, wearing florescent yellow t-shirts that said “Support Turk” on them. I wonder how many of those “employees” were contractors: temporary workers who don’t even live in Hempstead County, or possibly even Arkansas. Adding evidence to my suspicions was a documentary film maker present at the hearing who had filmed most of them leaving the plant earlier that day.
There was one local employee of SWEPCO who did give comments, and spoke at length about how much they all needed the plant because he had six kids and he needed his job with SWEPCO to take care of them.
He got the loudest applause of anyone the entire evening.
This same, poor, hard-working employee so concerned with supporting his kids has no concern for the destruction coal is wrecking on the futures of those same children. And not just the future of their health, but their economy too. Carbon legislation is going to happen during the next president’s term, and it will make coal so expensive that many coal plants will have to be shut down. Why, then, are we building new coal plants?
(Read the Entire Original Post on Coal Block)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This reminded me a lot of a BBC special I saw about Chinese coal plants and how the people knew the coal was making them sick but felt they needed the jobs. Watch it below. ~~Citizen Andy
(BBC report on a coal plant in China)
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