ODEC defends plans for power plant

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, December 9, 2009

To the Editor:

In reading Jeff Turner’s recent letter (“Riverkeeper cites dangers of power plant,” Wednesday, Dec. 2) we were pleased to note that he understands that Virginia needs more electricity. However, we strongly disagree with his suggestion that electricity is a “luxury.” Today, electricity —and especially reliable, affordable electricity — is as much a basic necessity for our society as are food, water and shelter.

Americans depend on electricity to light, heat and cool their homes, to power the businesses that provide their jobs and the farms that provide their food and fiber. Without electricity, there would be no computers, no internet, no cell phones or any of the other technological advances that fuel our economy and that we take for granted. Anyone who has ever been without electricity due to a storm or other natural disaster even for a few hours has seen what life is like without it.

As a not-for-profit consumer-owned power supplier, meeting Virginia’s growing demand for affordable electricity and doing so in an environmentally-responsible manner is our only mission at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. This is the reason we are proposing to build the Cypress Creek Power Station in Surry County.

Designs for the facility include the most advanced emission control technologies — all of which must be approved by a host of local, state and federal regulatory agencies. Once constructed and operated, these same agencies, including the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will constantly monitor the operation of the plant.

Electricity is even more than a necessity — it is the lifeblood that sustains our state and our nation today and tomorrow. Because it is so valuable, it is up to all of us to conserve and use energy as efficiently as possible. At ODEC, it is also our responsibility to make sure that we have the means to continue to provide the electricity Virginia needs today, tomorrow and for decades to come.

C. David Hudgins

director of member and external communications

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative

Glen Allen