There are many arguments against the plant. From the environment, to economic wealth transfer, to the local economy.
In light of this, it is a good idea to critically examine the opposition to the plant, if only to make sure the criticisms are valid before condemning the plant. We are lucky to have such a critique from someone who has credibility on energy and economy issues, Virginia's own Jim Bacon.
While Dominion proposes loading up the power plant with virtually every new clean-coal technology known to man -- which prompted my questions of whether the plant could possibly be a cost-effective means of generating power -- it's still not clean enough for the greenies. As Galuszka summarizes their fears, the plant "would generate huge volumes of greenhouses gases, inflict pollution that causes potentially fatal respiratory disease, employ heavy coal trucks that will crumble highways, and encourage mountaintop removal, a method of surface mining on a vast scale that Virginia has so far largely escaped."The entire post is well worth the read.
Meanwhile, opponents overlook a major environmental positive. The Dominion plant would use a technology that could burn waste coal found in the "gob piles" that litter the coalfield counties. These piles of coal dust and pulverized rock, which is refuse of mining that often took place decades ago, leach acidic water into local creeks and rivers. By recycling gob piles, the new plant would help address one of the region's worst environmental problems. - Jim Bacon, Bacon's Rebellion
Opposition to the Wise power plant is lining up, from editorial pages to community councils and boards, even though this plant may actually be a good idea. However, Dominion Power has only themselves to blame. The opposition to this plant is as much reactive to decades of pollution, destruction and neglect by Dominion and its ilk in coal country as rational weighing of the merits and disadvantages.
There is a lesson in this tale for Dominion and Virginia: Consequences matter. Companies should strive to be good neighbors today, in the interests of their plans for tomorrow.