Mon County Tax Give-Away to Longview Behind Closed Doors

by admin on March 7, 2020

Of the people, by the people, for the people have disappeared from this county

Negotiations for Longview power plant should be open to the public

Letter to the Editor, Morgantown Dominion Post, March 5, 2020

I have watched with dismay over the last three months as CEO Jeff Keffer of Longview has made dishonest claims that the expansion of Longview will offer clean carbon energy, and the Monongalia County Commissioners have closed ranks around Commissioner Tom Bloom, who made false allegations against the Sierra Club to deflect its criticisms of the power plant’s expansion.

The commission is negotiating millions in tax breaks for Longview behind closed doors. Given that Bloom received his fabricated allegations from CEO Keffer, establishing collusion between commissioner and CEO, the negotiations should absolutely occur under a critical public eye. Commissioners are accountable to the public, not Longview.

Commissioner Hawkins pushed back against the Sierra Club’s concern over air pollution emissions from the new gas-fired plant, including over three million tons of greenhouse gases. He claimed, “the best and easiest way to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to plant trees” (DP 1-23).

Of course, the easiest way to reduce CO2 is not to emit it in the first place. A typical mature hardwood absorbs only 48 pounds of CO2 annually, requiring 125 million trees to mitigate three million tons of CO2. Trees moreover do not store methane, a virulent greenhouse gas emitted in the production and transportation of natural gas, and chronically underreported by the natural gas industry.

Why should we, the public, subsidize Longview and its polluting infrastructure, when the only long-lasting result will be more toxins in our air and water?

Katherine B. Aaslestad, Morgantown, WV


See also: The Challenge of Justifying PILOT Tax Avoidance for Longview Power, FrackCheckWV, January 7, 2020

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