2/01/2007

Random Musings About the Coal Plant

At first I tried to read everything GeeGuy and Firefly wrote about the Coal Plant. They work so hard at this. But it is all blurring together. Lots of questions, no good answers, more questions raised. Misleading, contradictory, and false statements from officials. The conclusion to draw from all of this seems pretty obvious. Our city government is not competent to deal with the Coal Plant project. Period. Whether or not the plant is a good idea.

While I am neither left leaning nor an "environmentalist" as the label is typically used, I am concerned about health issues such as clean air, and wholly in support of protecting our clean air, clean water, and the natural beauty of our state. Those making the "environmentalist" arguments against the Coal Plant, such as MEIC, make a fair amount of sense.

Since wind generators are becoming more and more viable, and seem to be popping up without quite so much of our local cash, they might be better suited to our region anyway.

Which brings up the point that I do not see many coal mines around here. Is it really cheaper to haul coal than electricity? Wouldn't the Coal Strip plant have an economic advantage (assuming we are not making up the difference with tax dollars)? Are we going to start digging around Sand Coulee again? (That was sarcasm, I do know the answer. We are supposed to get coal from SE Montana, which is a long way away).

Regardless of my views, I had to suspect that the plan was in jeopardy when Governor Schweitzer made clear that the state was not behind the project. That means no special breaks from the State. Since then, we find out that, oh by the way, we could have a cleaner option? It was not quite as clean as we had been told originally?

Which brings me full circle. Those in charge of this project are lying, or they are incompetent (or a mixture of both). Personally, I do not do business with either liars or incompetents. I do not trust my money to them, either. I surely do not expect either shortcoming to be cured in time to salvage this deal for the City. If it were my deal (which I cannot imagine, but for the sake of argument), I would walk away. So why should our collective business be handled differently than our personal business?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct. The City needs to bite the bullet and walk away before spending another tax dollar on this ill conceived boondoggle. The politicians will pay dearly next fall for squanding our taxes, but so be it! At least they will be known for "eventually" doing the right thing.

stevemac said...

I too feel the city has no business being in business. But I do wonder about your statement regarding wind energy. Every thing I have read indicates that wind energy is more expensive per KW. Am I off base or is wind energy a nice buzz word.

free thought said...

From what I am reading, wind energy is getting cheaper. It may still be more expensive, but the cost is dropping. In my very limited understanding, many new projects are being aided by tax cuts and other incentives, but not directly funded. I think that is better policy than spending hundreds of millions from the gov't coffers. Perhaps more importantly, coal has non-specific costs from environmental concerns that do not go into the $/kw price.

Big Sky Husker said...

The city should walk away from this deal. Lots of questions remain unanswered... and I have no confidence the city is competent to hold up their end of it.