$6 Billion Dollar Coal-fired Power Plant (ClarkeDailyNews.com):
Clarke Daily News – Opinion & Editorial
The July 15 article “New Electric Provider Promises Better Service and Lower Rates” brings up a very good point. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) members are part owners of their utility. As part owners, they have the right to know what REC is doing, to have a voice in the decision making process, and to hold the board of directors accountable for its decisions.
So why was Rob Marmet, a candidate for the board of directors, the only one to mention the $6 billion coal plant being proposed by REC’s parent cooperative? It is the most expensive plant ever proposed in the U.S., yet it was barely touched upon by the board. Instead, they promised lower rates. Where is this $6 billion going to come from, if not the electricity bills of the members?
If 15,000 new members did not receive their membership packets, as stated by REC, how many of them did not receive their Cooperative Living magazine that contains their proxy ballot? This is the only way in which members are able to vote for the board of directors and express their views about REC’s already apparent lack of transparency and accountability. REC is clearly not providing its members with vital information about decisions within the co-op, nor are they making the decision-making process easily accessible to new members. I urge REC members to make their voices heard on these matters before it’s $6 billion too late.
The article Justin Klecha is referring to is here: New Electric Provider Promises Better Service and Lower Rates – worth a read.
And there is more information on REC’s Board of Directors Candidate Rob Marmet here: Rob4Rec.com where he asks some pointed questions regarding the costs involved for the new proposed ODEC plant in Dendron, Surry County, Virginia. The REC is a member of the Cooperative for which ODEC provides power. (From the Get The Facts tab) where Rob Marmet says:
The Proposed Surry Coal Plant
In December 2008, REC’s parent cooperative, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), announced plans to construct a 1,500 megawatt coal-fired power plant just 32 miles from the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton Roads. It would be the largest coal plant in Virginia and the most expensive plant ever constructed in the U.S.
This coal-fired plant’s daily environmental impact would be the equivalent of putting three million more cars on our roads. Requiring at least 26 million gallons of water daily from the James River, the plant would spew more than 110,000 pounds of toxic emissions daily into our air and water. Pollutants including lead, mercury, and nitrogen could devastate sensitive oyster and crab spawning grounds and undermine renewed efforts to restore the Bay.
The plant would be in danger of stifling other economic development in the area as a result of poor air quality and non-attainment designations. More than 100 coal plants have been canceled, delayed, or rejected in the United States since 2001 due to similar concerns.
If built, the project will cost upwards of $4-6 billion. Cooperative members will be locked into a 40 to 50 year obligation, ultimately paying $8,989-$13,483 per household for the cost of the plant. REC board members have been making these decisions behind closed doors and providing little information about the project and its potential effects on members’ rates.
Money Spent to Date
Land purchased for coal plant: $14.3 million
Land purchased for water intake facility: $1.1 million
Clean Air Act application: $1.1 million
Rezoning fee: $10,000
Money promised to the town of Dendron, proposed site for the plant:
Water repairs: $600,000
New sidewalks: $65,000
Designing plant, attorney fees, modeling and analysis for permitting applications
Total Spent: About $16 million dollars
Projected additional costs: More than $5 billion
How much does REC owe? Rob Marmet wants answers!
Yeah, the proposed plant is very close to the James River which feeds the Chesapeake Bay and all of Hampton Roads which is bad, but it’s also within 1 mile (stack shadow) of our little rural town of Dendron, Surry County where, if built, there will be 2 huge stacks spewing all this crap that Rob Marmet talks about right outside our little town’s home’s windows….and so much more….
It is sad to see that ODEC appears to have won in Dendron and Surry County where all they can see are the dollar signs in a very down economy … instead of the long term health red flag signs that everyone will have to live with for a very long time ….
Check out other articles I have posted here on my blog about this proposed coal fired power plant since this all started here in Dendron, Surry County, Virginia here.