Last night four students from Georgia attended a public hearing concerning the proposed super critical clean coal fired plant that would, if permits are approved, be built in Washington County, GA.
The students were there to present survey results to the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) which ultimately will decide if the permit to proceed with the construction on the plant will be granted. The survey was done to gauge student support of the plant. Over 1,300 random college students were asked: “Do you support the construction of an advanced new, clean coal electrical facility in the state of Georgia?” 73 percent said yes and only 26 percent said no. An interesting side note: a significant amount of the participants that said no to the question said they want nuclear plants built instead.
Our CFACT students did a great job of representing the wide support of their peers for the construction of the plant. They emphasized that clean coal is not the only solution to help meet Georgia’s growing energy demands but it’s a giant step in the right direction. The plant will be using the most advanced technologies available allowing production of MORE energy with LESS coal.
Driving into Sandersville, we were pleasantly surprised to see strong support for the plant, with the majority of houses displaying yard and window signs in favor of the plant construction. The citizens of Washington County seem to be in favor not only because the plant will be cleaner than others when it comes to the environment, but it will help the community financially and economically, providing lots of new jobs.
At the hearing, there was a different story. Anti-coal activists filled the room and for the most part, made inaccurate statements containing blatantly wrong information. It was rather appalling to hear the arrogance and condescending attitudes for over 3 hours. One of the most comical statements was made by a wealthy woman who lives on a lake in a neighboring community. She went on and on about how this new plant will destroy the beautiful land in GA, all the while ignoring the fact that her very house is on a lake right next to a plant. She failed to recognize that because of the emission standards already in place and recognized by the plant, she is able to enjoy the beauty of a lake side home. The new plant will be even better, emissions-wise than the old one SHE lives next too!
The hearing was rewarding for the CFACT-ers that made a presentation. Several of the anti-coal presenters were college students that vouched for the entire college generation who made broad statements saying that all young people are opposed to clean coal technologies and the construction of the plant. CFACT was able to paint a different and accurate picture of college students because of the overwhelming SUPPORT for plant construction due to their survey results. No other presenter was able to boast such numbers as the numbers from the survey. Following the hearing, several community members came up and shook the students’ hands and thanked them for getting up and presenting.
Congrats CFACT Georgia for the great job showing that advances in science and technology can impact environmental and energy issues in a positive way!