Proposed PILOT Agreement is Gross Giveaway to Longview Power II

by Duane Nichols on October 3, 2019

Wanted — More Places to Pollute the Atmosphere

Morgantown Already has Three Polluting Electric Power Plants

To the Editor, Morgantown Dominion Post, October 2, 2019

The plan to expand the Longview Power Plant with a gas-fired plant (Dominion Post — September 13) is disturbing. The company wants the Monongalia County Commission to approve a huge tax break, a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) instead of assessed property taxes.

Another fossil fuel plant means even more air and water pollution, resulting in higher health expenses. While natural gas claims to burn cleanly, fracking is not a clean process. Fracking pads leak methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and generate millions of gallons of toxic waste water. There is no such thing as clean fossil fuels.

Longview is an electric wholesale plant, so all the energy generated there goes into the national grid and is not necessarily consumed here. Nor will it make our rates any cheaper. That Longview filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2013, two years after it went online, does not instill confidence for future performance.

According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, “continued investments in gas-fired power plants will present stranded cost risk for customers, shareholders, and society, while locking in 100 million tons of CO2 emissions each year. RMI research shows that ‘clean energy portfolios’ comprised of wind, solar, and energy storage technologies are now cost-competitive with new natural gas power plants, while providing the same grid reliability services.

Children around the world are begging us to protect their future. Why should we invest in fossil energy sources that are guaranteed to rob them of it? We should not give tax breaks and incentives to fossil fuel industries. The Mon County Commission has an opportunity to say YES to the children by saying YES to solar energy but NO to another fossil fuel plant.

Betsy Lawson, Morgantown


See also: Wanted: More Places to Burn Natural Gas – A FracTracker Guest Article, Alison Grass, Food & Water Watch, April 21, 2017

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