Monday, December 29, 2008

Santee Cooper* wants to bring this "clean" technology to the Pee Dee

I posted about the proposed Pee Dee Coal Plant back in November, asking if we had to accept the premise that poverty or health had to be the choice.

See the pic on the left? If you live in the Johnsonville area, perhaps you should get used to the "sludge slide" look. It seems a retention wall holding back 80 acres of "sludge" from a coal plant in Kingston, TN failed, flooding the surrounding area.

See the pic on the right? It's the water on the east bank of the Clinch River in Kingston, TN 4 days after the breach.
What the hell is sludge? It's an ash byproduct of burning coal, you know, the "clean" power source Santee Cooper is so eager to drop in our backyards. And guess what the Johnsonville/Kingsburg plant would have? If you guessed sludge ponds, you're right.

But our local politicians, all except Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela, think the coal plant is a good idea. Back in the November post, I included a quote from Pamplico Mayor Gene Gainey:

“I don’t believe Santee Cooper would do anything to harm the community.”

The naivete of that remark is blatantly obvious. But perhaps Mayor Gainey would like to take a look at this article to see how electric companies that operate coal power plants respond to catastrophic environmental accidents. Specifically, how about this gem from TVA spokesperson Gil Francis:

Although video from the scene shows dead fish on the banks of the tributary, he
said that "in terms of toxicity, until an analysis comes in, you can't call it

That's right, Mayor Gainey...when faced with the site of dead fish on the banks of local waterways, those good old folks at the energy company did not want to call it toxic. Move along...there's nothing to see here. the way, they understated the size of the spill, it's triple the size they originally stated.

Energy companies...stewards of our environment. (Although you've got to love the PR folks at the TVA. It's not called a coal plant, it's a "fossil plant." You know...dinosaurs and such...). The idea that Santee Cooper would not do anything to harm the community, when they want to put a damn coal plant there is ridiculous. Hasn't Mayor Gainey and other pro-plant people seen "The Last Temptation of Homer" (The Simpsons)? It's like the banner in front of Lisa, "Fossil Fuels - Use us and nobody gets hurt."

Ask Hans Moleman whether or not the fossil fuel folks are good guys. I think not.

*This post has been corrected. I originally attributed the coal plant to Progress Energy, which was an incredibly stupid mistake considering the damn thing contains a quote referring to the actual plant proposer: Santee Cooper, not to mention the quote was pulled from a post I did in November. Thanks to Scott for slapping some accuracy into me. In fact, Scott informs me that Progress Energy has a self-imposed moratorium on proposing new coal burning facilities, which is awesome. My apologies to all the folks at Progress Energy.


pgnccd said...

pluvlaw, my name is Scott and I work for Progress Energy. Your post incorrectly states that Progress Energy is trying to build a new coal plant. We have no plans to build a coal plant, in fact, we have a self-imposed moratorium on proposing any new coal plants. The Pee Dee Energy Complex you are talking about here belongs to Santee Cooper (see your November post) and is unrelated to us. We are two separate companies. I would appreciate it if you would please correct the headline and text of your post. Have a great day. Thanks, Scott

pluvlaw said...

Thanks for the correction, Scott.

The moratorium is a great. How long has Progress had that in place? It will make me feel a little better as I pay my Progress bill.

pgnccd said...

Thanks for the update. We announced the two-year moratorium in 2007 because we want to wait and see the results of our energy efficiency programs. At that time we also announced a goal of doubling our energy savings to 2,000 megwatts from efficiency and demand-side management programs.