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Holland City Council decision on power plant will kill us

December 6, 2012

The Holland City Council decided in an 8 – 1 vote that the new electricity plant, that provides electricity for many communities in West Michigan, will be powered by natural gas.

The current General Manager of the coal-powered plant along the lakeshore Dave Koster said in an Mlive story, “What we have (had approved) are a set of recommendations that are going to be transformative for our community, and will lead us to a cleaner, more efficient energy future.”hydro-fracking-coming-to-a-neighborhood-near-you_1

Such a statement nothing short of a lie. While natural gas might be perceived as cleaner and more energy efficient, the reality is that natural gas extraction and burning is just a different method of environmental destruction and negative impact on climate change.

By committing the residents of West Michigan to the use of natural gas to generate electricity, the Holland City Council has doomed the public to an increase in horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

With a growth of horizontal hydraulic fracturing will come the following:

  • The use of toxic chemicals (often undisclosed) in the fracking process, chemicals which cause cancer.
  • The use of millions of gallons of water, which will not only mean water diversion from lakes, streams and underground aquifers, but the disposal of this water, which will be contaminated with chemicals. Where will they dispose of this toxic water?
  • New roads or the widening of roads will take place, especially in more rural and environmentally sensitive areas, causing more environmental destruction – deforestation, run-off and impacting wildlife.

In addition and more importantly, the commitment to extracting and burning a fossil fuel for electricity generation will contribute negatively to climate change. As a species, we are not in a position to continue the burning of fossil fuels, particularly at the current levels. According to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, we need to reduce current carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 or we will be beyond of point of no return.

The Holland City Council not only made a wrong decision, they made a decision that will negatively impact us for years to come and they did it with virtually no public input. Say that natural gas is cleaner than coal is like saying execution by lethal injection is more humane than by hanging.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. SitInvertn permalink
    December 6, 2012 6:58 pm

    Increase in equitability of a given structures composition begets comparable increase in equitability of given structures action….same shot different day.

  2. Nicole Berens-Capizzi permalink
    December 7, 2012 12:41 am

    I was there last night, but only for part of it. Koster kept saying they weren’t just focusing on “economics”, but this was a flat out lie. He spent the rest of the presentation talking about how, economically, this is better (and of course, “sustainable”). The reaction from council was particularly disappointing. I had hope after last week that maybe they were actually considering holding out a bit more and doing more research, but last night many complained that this decision making process had taken too long already, while others talked about how they aren’t necessarily making this decision for the long-term…just for now. What? What kind of “leaders” don’t think long-term when making decisions? The kind that are bought and paid for…all they care about is money.

  3. December 7, 2012 12:43 am

    Thanks for your comments and perspective on this matter. What happened is definitely not good news.

  4. SityInverter permalink
    December 7, 2012 6:07 pm

    Convention on the
    Prevention and Punishment
    of the Crime of Genocide
    Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948.
    Article 2
    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;.
    This is just a fragment, albeit a rather large one, of conditions, no consiously engadged people would ever suffer, but so goes another day…defend life.

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  1. Consumers Energy announcement affirms the push towards fracking in Michigan « Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

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