Thursday, January 22, 2009

4.5 million freakin’ tons!

smokestack_quer That’s how much carbon will be emitted into the atmosphere annually by the proposed and now approved Big Stone coal-fired power plant, according to the utilities themselves:

According to Dan Sharp, a spokesman for the five-utility consortium that will build the 580-megawatt (mw) Big Stone II plant near Milbank S.D., on Minnesota's western border, about 4.5 million tons of carbon will be dumped annually into the atmosphere each year, much of it carried into Minnesota by prevailing westerly winds.

Spot doesn’t think there is such a thing as “clean coal,” but even if there was, this ain’t it. Here’s what MinnPost’s Ron Way had to say in the lede of the article linked above:

When the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last week approved transmission lines to enable building the $1.3 billion, coal-fired Big Stone II power plant, it poured tons of soot on state's new law to reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change.

The Sierra Club says this is the equivalent of putting an additional 600,000 cars on the road.

Aw, Spotty, traffic around here is already terrible!

No, grasshopper, it’s not actually cars on the road, just the same greenhouse effect.

That’s still horrible!

Which is why this one is undoubtedly headed to court. Again, MinnPost:

However, two things are likely: Big Stone's owners will accept the PUC's conditions [for the permit issuance], and environmental advocates will seek to block the permits in court.  MCEA's Goodpaster said as much immediately after the PUC vote was taken. Sharp said he expects that a lawsuit will be filed once the PUC's appeal process ends in about a month; regardless, he added that construction plans would proceed.

No comments: