by Chris Haire
Funny. A day after a coalition of state environmental groups sent out a press release announcing a rally "on Thursday, October 25, to call on Santee Cooper to withdraw its proposal to build a 1300 megawatt dirty coal plant in rural Florence County," the P&C runs an Op-Ed from Santee Cooper President and CEO Lonnie Carter.
Even funnier, no where in the column is the proposed construction of a new coal plant mentioned. Hell, the word "coal" is no where to be found in the Op-Ed, not even when Carter talks about the number of ways in which Santee Cooper produces electricity. Gas, hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear get props, but not coal. Which is really odd considering that the Charleston Regional Business Journal claims that "Santee Cooper's current energy portfolio consists of about 77% coal-fired energy."
But while a coal-burning plant fails to get a mention, Carter sings the praises of another plant:
This Pee Dee Energy Campus will be built with the best available environmental control technology, enabling us to reduce more than 90 percent of the nitrous oxide and mercury, more than 97 percent of the sulfur dioxide and 99 percent of the particulate matter.
The Pee Dee Energy Campus is consistent with Santee Cooper's decades-long commitment to environmental responsibility, as it will be built with the best available environmental control technology, including scrubbers.
Sounds like a magical place doesn't it. All green-friendly and enviro-loving. The kind of electricity producing wonderland that would cause the Lorax to shed tears of joy.
Now if you're interested in joining the enviros in Cola-town tomorrow, check you the info below:
Contact: John Ramsburgh, Conservation Voters of South Carolina, 803-799-0189
CONSERVATION GROUPS ANNOUNCE UNITED OPPOSITION TO COAL PLANT
In the wake of a recent study by South Carolina's electric cooperatives showing that South Carolina has the capacity to generate over 1700 megawatts of electricity through efficiency and renewable energy programs, conservation groups from across the state will gather in Columbia at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 25, to call on Santee Cooper to withdraw its proposal to build a 1300 megawatt dirty coal plant in rural Florence County.
"This is the homework Santee Cooper should have done before proposing a billion-dollar-plus coal plant," observes Blan Holman, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. "The studies confirm that the state's future energy needs can be met with efficiency and in-state renewable sources that are cleaner, safer, and create more jobs."
At a recent Board meeting, Santee Cooper's head executive acknowledged that carbon regulation presents the utility, which is already heavily dependent on coal, with significant risks. The proposed Pee Dee plant would produce nearly nine million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
"Santee Cooper has excluded the true costs of this plant. It is all trick and no treat," argues Conservation Voters of South Carolina Executive Director Ann Timberlake. "Santee Cooper has given us a false bill of sale. What are the true costs of this plant measured against these viable alternatives?"
Conservation groups will present new findings on the true costs and environmental and human health impacts of the plant and address viable alternatives just released two weeks ago.
Conservation groups participating include Carolina Climate Network, Coastal Conservation League, Conservation Voters of South Carolina, South Carolina Sierra Club, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
What: Conservation groups oppose dirty coal plant
Where: 2711 Middleburg Dr., Suite 101
When: Thursday, October 25, 2007
Why: South Carolina has better, cleaner alternatives that will produce more jobs
#### Powerful visuals showing pollution data and national trends against coal plants
Directions to South Carolina Wildlife Federation Office:
2711 Middleburg Drive, Suite 101
Columbia, SC 29204
From downtown Columbia:
• Take Taylor Street towards the east (toward Ft. Jackson).
• Taylor Street will become Forest Drive.
• Pass Providence Hospital.
• Turn left on Devonshire Road into the Middleburg Plaza.
• Turn right on Middleburg Drive.
• Our building is on the left, a large white building called the Kittrell Center, at 2711 Middleburg. It is the same building as the Mousetrap Restaurant. and the conference room is right by the Mouse Trap.
• Take exit 12 to Forest Drive. Turn away from Ft. Jackson, towards downtown Columbia.
• Follow Forest Drive for about 3 miles, pass Beltline Blvd and Richland Fashion Mall.
• Turn right on St. Julian Place into the Middleburg Plaza.
• Turn left on Middleburg Drive.
• Our building is on the right, a large white building called the Kittrell Center, at 2711 Middleburg. It is the same building as the Mousetrap Restaurant, and the conference room is located next to the Mouse Trap.