Friday, December 13, 2013

How can you stop the polluters?

In a time when the world is increasingly aware of humanity's impact on the climate, who in their right mind would propose a new power plant that would increase, rather than alleviate, those concerns? The United States, and its leading environmentally conscious state, should be at the forefront of green energy technologies, not perpetuating a dying and increasingly-damaging fossil fuel industry.

At 10am Tuesday Dec.17, 2013, the Antelope Valley (CA) Air Quality Management District is holding a hearing on the proposed Palmdale Power Plant. As a resident of Lancaster, I am categorically opposed to this pollution-producing proposal.

I have asthma, and the windy conditions of Antelope Valley naturally stir up more than enough air pollution to affect my breathing. I certainly do NOT need an intentional source of 546 annual tons of pollutants diminishing the air quality at all times.

I have studied the "clean" fossil fuel reports, and there is simply no truth to these claims. Scientific studies by environmental experts both here and abroad have debunked these industry-sponsored papers.

In reality, "clean" claims for fossil fuels are the last gasp of a dying industry. So-called "clean" coal, fracked gas, and tar sands oil actually pollute far more, both in the environmental damage of the extraction, processing, and production and because of the the pollution of the air quality when consumed. So-called "clean" fossil fuels also cost more to produce than conventional fossil fuels, in terms of both actual extraction and necessary refinement processing. Neither extraordinary cost is one that people or the Earth itself should accept.

Nor do the costs to the community or its air quality portend well for the immediate Antelope Valley area or for the planet. Since the California Energy Commission already deplored the proposed Palmdale Hybrid Power Project in its 2010 final assessment, I cannot fathom why the revised Palmdale Power Plant, which precludes including a solar component, would even be considered. California and the Antelope Valley should just say NO to the Palmdale Power Plant.

If you are available at 10am Tuesday Dec.17, 2013, please attend the hearing at the Antelope Valley College Performing Arts Center. If not, you can send your statement opposing the proposed plant to bbanks@avaqmd.ca.gov. It is time we stand up for our homes, our health, and our planet's future.

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