A coal-burning plant is not the best solution

Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 at 10:40 p.m.
What do you think of when you hear the words "coal-burning plant?" I imagine miners with faces smudged with coal eating lunch out of tin pails and a factory churning under a sky black with pollution.
While the dangerous health consequences miners faced in their occupation are no longer factors in our country's production of coal, the serious, harmful effects of coal consumption should raise the hairs on the back of all of our necks. And if Gainesville Regional Utilities' suggested coal-burning power plant isn't stopped, we are setting ourselves up for a serious reduction in the quality of our area's air and the potential financial burden of owning an antiquated power-generating source.
It boggles the mind that in the 21st century, our society can accept the negative effects of a coal-burning plant. Continuing to burn fossil fuel for our power source is irresponsible to future generations. New, better alternatives may cost more right now, but as technology continues to advance at the speed of light, those alternative power sources are going to make more sense in a socially responsible and economic way.
I urge my Gainesville neighbors to attend the special city commission meeting on this issue Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. Let's make it known that we don't want a coal-burning plant in our city.
The city needs to send GRU back to the drawing board to brainstorm responsible ideas that will protect the health of its citizens while meeting the power demands of the commercial and residential property owners who pay the taxes to make Gainesville the great city that it is.
Patricia Ulrey, Gainesville

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