Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
New power plant not such a good deal
By BILL KENNEDY Guest
Regarding the Herald and News editorial of
Dec. 17: A new power plant could be a plus for our
community if it were not for several overriding
Burning expensive, imported, natural gas to
produce electricity at a merchant power plant is
not efficient. The best place to burn natural gas
is at the point of direct use. Examples include
domestic hot water and blast furnaces used for
We all agree that our nation needs to be less
dependent on imported power. There are better ways
to produce electricity at the California-Oregon
The construction of a multi-million dollar
industrial complex will bring an “economic spurt”
to our county. Once the gas-fired plant is up and
running, it will continuously ejaculate millions
of tons of emissions such as carbon dioxide and
particulate carbon into our local atmosphere.
Here is the irony. While our state advocates
for strict auto emissions standards the state also
advances gas-fired generators that individually
emit more carbon dioxide than all the internal
combustion engines in our state.
It is ironic that while a century old,
multimillion dollar industry in our county stands
to be devastated by twenty-fold increases in power
rates, our leaders in government have not
negotiated a benefit to irrigated agriculture from
Peoples Energy of Chicago. Instead, our state and
local governments have been swooned into another
boondoggle, gas-fired plant, like the one that is
such an economic asset to the city of Klamath
I find it ironic that the Cob plant attracts
power production in part because of the electric
grid. Yet one Chicago Company has convinced our
county and city that it needs an economic reason
to build at the best location, location, location.
The Cob plant has the infrastructure and it has
the market potential ideal for a merchant
production facility. Build the plant in Oregon,
merchandise the power in California. No other
economic incentive is necessary.
We have much to look forward to as neighbors
of People’s Energy of Chicago. We will experience
a spurt of heavy industrial traffic through our
homes. We will experience a spurt of temporary
workers in our communities and we will experience
the shame of some that have promoted this project.
It is ironic that extreme environmental groups
such as Water Watch have been as “silent as
spring” regarding this development. Their members
should be as ashamed as our government leaders for
promoting the potential for tons of atmospheric
While extreme green groups have blasted our
community over perceived threats to our wildlife,
there has been absolutely no consideration of the
impact of an 1160-megawatt gas-fired generator on
several thousand acres of designated wildlife
refuge. The small footprint for the proposed power
plant is very close to private lands that are
designated by their landowners as refuge for
So we move ahead and tear up our county roads,
build an industrial box with smoke stacks, on top
of seismic faults, in a very beautiful valley.
When the electricity is flowing to markets in far
away cities, along with our water, we can reflect.
Today we are wise to:
Be careful what we wish for.
If we do not always get what we want,
Think of all the things we do not get,
That we do not want.
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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