January 14, 2008 – Public Hearing on Coal Plant

Today was the public comment period for the coal plant.  I was in the minority position.  I expected that most, if not all of the local construction and trade unions would turn out; they did.  Trade unions have much to gain personally during the construction of the plant.  Local government officials were also wildly enthusiastic about the plant, both donkeys and elephants.  There were a few surprises for me – first, the former director of the county conservation board spoke in favor; the administration of Linda’s school – the Iowa Valley Community College District spoke in favor, and most shocking to me was that the local hospital spoke in favor of building the coal plant! 

I had to remind myself that the utility board was there to consider the power plant on the merits of the plant according the Code of Iowa.  Most of the endless parade of supporters seemed to think the mission of the utilities board was to create jobs.  Even though the people speaking out in favor of the plant far outnumbered those in opposition, I’m not sure that the notion of job creation is/should be central in the minds of the utility board in making their decision.

one year ago…no entry