Saturday, March 03, 2007

That Went Over Like a Lead Balloon!

Sierra Pacific held a public meeting today in Ely and invited everyone. There was a big ad in the local paper, the Ely Times. The attendance was impressive, but not overwhelming.

NOTICE: We really need to get out to the next one. This will be the most important Public Hearing held this year. This next meeting is the final regulatory hoop LS Power/Dynegy has to jump through. Speak up now for our fresh air, or live with smog for the next 50 years.

Thursday, March 8, 6:00 pm, the Bristlecone Convention Center, Ely, NV.

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection – air pollution hearing.

For those of you who couldn't make it to today's meeting; there appeared to by about an 80/20 percent ratio of those who were against the coal fired power plant and those who seemed to be for it. The reason I use the term “seemed” is because of something strange that happened early on in the group presentation. Dennis Sims (from Sierra Pacific) was well into his speech about how grateful we should be to have this coal fired power plant, when he showed us a picture of what the plant would look like. It was an artist's rendition. Quite attractive, if you're into big industrial buildings. But something was missing. Sure, the sky was as blue... as it is now. But we knew they would leave out the smog. That's the beauty of an artist”s rendition. No... Something else was missing. Oh, yeah! The toxic sludge landfill was missing! Being a stickler for detail, I asked Mr. Sims where the landfill was in the picture. He tried to brush me off, as I expected. But what I didn't expect, was a chorus of about four or five voices saying pretty much the same thing. “How rude.” It seemed like an over reaction. Yes, I was a little rude. But the comments from the audience sounded so staged. Maybe it was just me. But I knew that I would never see this picture again. This was my only chance to help out Mr. Sims, and point out his missing landfill. So, I said; “The landfill is the biggest thing on your (technical) drawings. Where is it? He finally conceded that it was in back, where the artist had drawn open range. A 1500 acre oversight? I think not.

Later on I couldn't help but point out that they had no idea of what to do with the carbon dioxide – if they ever separate it out... How rude of me.

As the meeting dragged on... The lady in the chair next to me remarked that they were trying to bore us into submission... Oh. I almost fell asleep there. Which is just where they wanted us – so that they could drop the bombshell – and we might miss it. But we didn't. During the question and answer period, someone asked just how much coal were they going to burn? The first answer was; Oh about one, one and a half train loads a day. What? What was that? Did he say TRAINLOADS? A lady asked; “How many train car loads is that?” A few numbers were tossed about until an average of 220 TRAIN CAR LOADS A DAY! And then a guy asked how many tons that was. They're going to burn EIGHT MILLION TONS OF COAL A YEAR! There was an audible gasp from the crowd... as if they had, all of a sudden, been enlightened.

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