Friday, February 15, 2008

Don't Beat Us, Join Us

An open letter to Michael Yackira (President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Resources):

Apparently, in your press release to the Ely Times, you somehow want us to believe that you are doing the right thing; by polluting our air for the next 30 to 60 years – and our land and water forever. We know better.

We know that you're not “serious about being good stewards of the environment” – when you intend to force us to rely on the dirtiest power generation possible.

We know that you're not committed to “furthering the development of renewable energy.” You obviously didn't you brag about how much money your corporation has spent on renewables – because you haven't really spent any. Instead, you listed a number of solar projects being built by OTHER companies. You're only BUYING clean power – which you have to by law... We now know that your idea of “diversified energy sources” just means a different type of fossil fuel. And we know why – because solar and wind costs don't fluctuate. Which means you wouldn't have an excuse to raise prices.

We know that you don't really want to “keep electricity prices predictable.” Citibank has just predicted that the worldwide price of coal will double in the next two years. And the price of oil keeps rising too. Delivering over a train-load of coal a day is going to get expensive. But that might actually be what you want. Your company obviously wants to raise prices – that's how you make more money.

We know the reason you picked coal is because it is so heavily subsidized by taxpayers. And the Public Utilities Commission has already stated that you can just pass on future expenses to consumers. So, if there is a carbon tax, or carbon sequestration is ever required; why should you care? Sierra Pacific won't have to pay for it. Customers will.

And we know that Sierra Pacific will never pay any health care expenses to people who get sick (or die) from breathing your poisoned air... unless of course, a court orders them to. And then, we can only get what you have set aside in your Limited Liability Corporation – which you're only pretending is a separate company.

So Michael, we know what you're really “committed” to; maximizing short-term profits for your corporation – because that's what will maximize your multi-million dollar pay. But, money isn't as wonderful as you believe. If corporations succeed at converting everything of real value into money, there won't be anything left for money to buy. You can't eat money. You can't breath money. Does the natural world have to be gone before you realize this.

You should consider moving to White Pine County. This is a beautiful place. We even have some of the cleanest air in the nation, for a while. Hey, if you buy a place now, you can get it cheap. Nobody wants to move here with a coal-fired power plant coming.

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