Valley Activists Fight Proposed Power Plants

More than 250 people turned out for a second public hearing on a proposed polluting power plant in Greenfield on June 25. City officials allowed only about 12 people to speak, though many more members of the public wanted to speak. Of those who spoke, only one was in favor of the proposal.

On June 15, more than 400 people turned out for the first public hearing about the power plant. The vast majority of speakers at that hearing opposed the facility. Four grassroots environmental groups in the Valley are fighting a company that wants to build polluting power plants in Greenfield, Russell, Palmer, Fitchburg and Pittsfield.

"This is a story of when green is not really green,” said Jana Chicoine, a member of Concerned Citizens of Russell, Mass. “These facilities are being sold as clean energy by the incinerator industry.” That’s false advertising, she said.

The Hampshire Gazette newspaper reported that the proposed electric plants would release 50 percent more carbon dioxide per kilowatt of electricity generated than a coal plant would.

The other groups are the Toxics Action Center and the Rushing Rivers Institute, both based in Amherst, and the Westfield State College chapter of MASSPIRG

Studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council and others show that energy-efficiency programs are the most cost-effective way to reduce pollution and create jobs, compared to any kind of power generation. Electricity is increasingly being generated by windmills, solar panels and small-scale hydroelectric dams.


A note on editorializing

It's clear by the evidence you site that biomass releases pollution into the atmosphere, but by calling it a "proposed polluting power plant" in the lede, you paint yourself as an opponent, rather than an objective reporter. I'm new to your site, and maybe that's intentional. Or maybe you were seduced by the possibility of a really long alliteration?

Nice site, by the way...


Thanks, Kate. I am biased in

Thanks, Kate. I am biased in favor of clean air and against lung cancer. Normally, we only post comments that are signed with the author's full name and town. Thanks again.

photos and an audio file from the meeting

In the audio file, Greenfield ZBA chair Roy Cowdrey (middle in photo), calls upon a couple of burly cops to escort a woman from the microphone at a public hearing. The board will reconvene on Monday morning at 8 A.M. and will likely take their vote on the project at that time.

-Mary Serreze

Valley Activists Fight Proposed Power Plants

You know I understand everyone wants a clean environment, but in these trying times with a strangle hold from foren oil and the constant energy demand we impose on our nation, whats worse a little pollution or dealing with constant unrest in the middle east that will eventually bring every American to their knees. Which by the way is already happening to so many US soldiers. I would like to see how many air conditioners are run by the same people fighting this proposal this summer alone.

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