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Bashing coal


Doug Rixmann May 1st, 2013

Very interesting commentary by the local chapter of the Sierra Club on coal (Whitney Pearson, “OG&E must move past coal”) in the April 10 Oklahoma Gazette. It's no secret that this group has openly said it wants to shut down the coal industry. Let’s examine the Sierra Club's record on their ability to be objective on said issue, shall we?

Colorado Springs, Colo., is a beautiful city. It has been declared one of the top 20 cleanest cities in the U.S. by various organizations, not the least of which is the American Lung Association. A city that is more susceptible/sensitive to said pollutants of coal because of its altitude burns coal for power.

Wait ... Whaaa?

The Martin Drake power plant is a 256-megawatt facility powering over 50,000 businesses and homes. It is also the beneficiary of technology from the Neumann Systems Group. Their system scrubs out 95 percent of the sulfur and other pollutants as well.

In this day and age of an extremely draconian and out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency, the Martin Drake power plant has been inspected five times in the last seven years without a single violation issued. However, it’s the Sierra Club that is filing a lawsuit against the power plant, citing "repeated and continuing violations of the Federal Clean Air Act." Apparently, they know better than the ALA and the actual inspectors who inspected the plant five times.

Remember that these are the same people who bulldozed in an airstrip and a lodge for its donors and supporting politicians in a pristine wilderness they had successfully lobbied to have declared off limits to off-road vehicles and even hikers.

We’re coming up on nearly two years since the coal industry has basically given up on many of its power plants. After numerous changes to the air quality standards and compliance and the bar being lifted again and again, the point came when it wasn't feasible to keep them running and the phase-out began. I saw many environmentalists applaud this and embrace natural gas at the same time.

I said to myself, "It won't be long before they find something wrong with that as well.” Lo and behold, here we are.

—Doug Rixmann, Newalla

 
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