Dominion should look into alternatives to coal

Published 11:20 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To the Editor:

In the July 9 article “IOW officials asked to oppose Surry County Power Plant,” Old Dominion Co-op member Helen Eggleston was quoted saying that “we don’t need this power plant. There are too many dangers, too many risks.”

I couldn’t agree more with her concerns.

A group of Virginia electric cooperatives, all members of the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, have put forth a proposal for a $6 billion coal-fired plant to be built in the Hampton Roads area just 35 miles away from the Chesapeake Bay. Each of these co-ops has strategically limited the amount of information it has shared with their members.

A large number of members have yet to even hear about the proposal, let alone the negative impacts it would have on the environment and the economy.

When questioned, the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative board of directors and the other co-op boards are holding fast to the idea that the coal plant is needed to meet the growing energy demand, and it will provide jobs in the community at the same time.

However, they have not seriously looked into any alternatives that could produce more reliable, clean energy. Renewable energy is available and the industry would employ workers for years to come.

If these co-ops really had their members’ best interest in mind, as they say they do, the members wouldn’t be left in the dark about such an expensive proposal, and have a fair chance at showing their support for clean energy.

Emily Sherman