On the front page of it’s website, Wise County Virginia’s is called “The Safest Place on Earth,” yet Dominion Resources’ plan to build a coal-fired power plant -which will accelerate global warming, mountaintop removal mining, the construction of new transmission lines, and the poisoning of our air and water- doesn’t sound too safe for the residents of Wise County.
The plant will emit over 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide every year (roughly the equivalent of 30,000 new cars on the road) and cost $1.6 billion. Large portions of Wise county have already been strip-mined (I’ve heard as much as 25%). The process of mountaintop removal is essentially coal companies dropping bombs on mountains through out the local area.
What exactly is their definition of “safe”?
Currently a coalition of groups have banned together in opposition to the Wise County plant. They are challenging the plant in legislative, regulator, community and legal spheres. Virginia’s governor and General Assembly are aligned with the coal industry on this one, but local towns and counties are passing resolutions fighting the plant.
In Richmond, last week hundreds descended on a hearing held by the State Corporation Committee to voice their dissent on the plant.
In early March, the first of two Mountain Justice Spring Breaks will be held in southwest Virginia partially as an organizing vehicle against the Wise County plant. All voices and participants are welcome. In July, the Southeast Climate Convergence will converge on the region.
Some of it reminds me of the coalition (loose use of the term) that came together around the proposed TXU plants last year.
We’ve been building our “muscle” around coal and climate issues within student and environmental circles for quite a while now and now it’s time to begin using that “muscle”.